The water sways as sophomore Sara Wyvill carefully carries the half-gallon tank into the Mexican restaurant. After being flooded with group photos and Snapchat selfies, Wyvill asks for a table for 5: 4 humans and 1 fish. The absurd looks from fellow diners are just the beginning.
Calico goldfish Flitwick Johnson will reside in the journalism classroom throughout the school week after two students and journalism teacher Callie Lawrence purchased him on the way to UIL Regionals.
“They had worked hard all year,” Lawrence said. “I thought it’d be a unique experience for Regionals.”
During the trip to Regionals, Lawrence stopped at the Lindale Walmart to buy sophomore Allison Buckner and sophomore Ashley Wilkinson bath bombs; she soon received a text asking to buy a fish.
“When Allison asked Mrs. Lawrence if we could buy Flitwick, I thought she was joking,” Wilkinson said. “I didn’t actually think she’d say yes, but I’m glad she did!”
The fish was affectionately named Flitwick Johnson because his tail swishes resembled the manner of how a Harry Potter character moves his wand.
“Flitwick is a very unique name,” Wyvill said. “It took some practice to learn how to pronounce it at first, but now, it’s pretty fun to say.”
Johnson was transferred to a half-gallon betta aquarium in Bucker’s and Wilkinson’s hotel room, in which he travelled in during the remainder of the trip.
“I was the first person who held Flitwick’s tank during the car ride,” Wilkinson said. “To say the least, it wasn’t much fun going over speed bumps.”
Throughout Regionals, Johnson’s tank displayed a sticky note that informed others of their sanity and not to tap on the glass.
“That sign was so great,” Lawrence said. “We plan on recreating one and laminating it, so we can reuse it when he travels with us, even if water gets on it.”
Later that evening, Buckner, Lawrence, Wilkinson and Wyvill decided to take Johnson into Greenville’s El Fenix with them because they needed to ensure the tank would be stable.
“I can’t believe how cool our waitress was with it!” Wyvill said. “They even brought him a highchair, water to drink and a menu.”
Because the tank’s water levels were getting low, they stopped by the Lindale Walmart to purchase a gallon of distilled water; Johnson also joined them in Walmart.
“Flitwick is my baby,” Buckner said. “And my baby goes where I go.”
Wyvill took Johnson home that evening and brought him into the school the following Monday.
“It was awesome to take Flitwick home,” Wyvill said. “He was a wonderful houseguest.”
Johnson will join the UIL journalism team at State on May 4.
“I’m excited for State,” Johnson said. “I hope will live to see the day, for it’s hard being a fish.”