We got a betta fish!
My brother named him/her Pearl. We bought Pearl because my brother would not stop demanding a pet. Now normally we've been able to distract his attention; but it just so happened that we took him out to play and he found a baby bird. He wanted to keep it as a pet; which we of course said no to. We went on a tedious explanation of how the baby bird had to stay with its mommy and daddy we would continue to care for it even though it's not in a nest (we were unsure where its original nest was but once in a while a big bird would come feed it).
Of course my brother refused to listen to logic. No matter, he decided he didn't want the baby bird anymore; he wanted a guinea pig. But my parents dislike things with fur. So I told him we could buy a fish. After a few minutes of convincing him that fish were awesome, our family came to agreement. And we got Pearl.
Not the most exciting story, I know, but the similarities between my brother's and my own childhood really struck me. I remember asking for a pet when I was younger; only to be turned down. On one occasion (after realizing that my parents would refuse to buy a cat or dog) I asked for a bird. When I was very young we used to have parrots until we moved. I thought that asking for a bird was an ingenious idea since we had them before! But it seems my parents, having taken care of birds before, didn't want to do it again. So then I asked for a hamster. Again I faced bitter rejection. It was then that I learned of my parent's dislike of fur/feathers/warm-blooded creatures.
I considered asking for a snake but decided to just play it completely safe and asked for a fish. They bought me the fish.
My fish died 3 days after we got it. I seemed to have a history with fish actually. When I was very young I remember going with my father to a pond and catching a little tadpole shaped fish. We had goldfish back at home back then so we just added the tadpole fish to our goldfish bowl. I then came up with the horrible idea that the big goldfish would try to eat the little tadpole fish. And so, complimenting myself on how much I cared about the safety of my fish, I took scissors and proceeded to stick them into the fish bowl to keep the goldfish as far away from the tadpole fish as the little fish bowl allowed. Luckily no fish died... actually I'm not sure what happened to the tadpole fish since it was gone the next day... perhaps even with my best efforts at hand the tadpole fish still turned into goldfish food.
But that was a story from my early childhood when I had no sense. As for the fish I got after my endless pet-wanting pestering died, I just gave up on my asking for pets.
So far Pearl's survived his/her first 2 days in our house and I feel like (s)he'll last. Betta fish are strong. And I will watch my brother carefully and keep him away from scissors and other sharp objects that can potentially endanger Pearl's life. He shall learn from my mistakes.