The Carp in the Bathtub Viral Books Owned this as a child I liked it It had a carp in a bathtub An illustration of a boy on a toilet Nice Jewish Lower East Side story The book is mo
The Carp in the Bathtub Viral Books Owned this as a child. I liked it. It had a carp in a bathtub. An illustration of a boy on a toilet. Nice Jewish Lower East Side story. The book is more or less a scene from the author's childhood. She recalls how her mother would buy a carp - a live carp - for the Passover gefilte fish (ochlin al shum mah?) a week or two in advance of the holiday, and it would swim in the tub until the day of the dull thud-to-the-head-with-the-club came and it was ground into the Seder appetizer.One year she and her brother came to think of the carp as a pet and desperately wanted to save it. So they schemed. First they tried to enlist their father's sympathy, then they dragged the carp in a bucket to a sympathetic neighbor (who was going to be their Seder guest, by the way).Short story short, it's a sweet book. This family wasn't exactly in poverty, but things were certainly tight and sparse. They could scarcely afford to buy and not eat a whole carp. The parents, of course, were immigrants from Eastern Europe. I read it to my child not so long ago and I noticed something I didn't when I was a kid - the way kids don't notice these things. In the scene where the kids approach their father to allow them to save the fish, the following is described: they wait for their father to emerge from the subway station stairs. He comes up the stairs, from his hard day at work in a factory, and the author describes him stooped and fatigued as he walks up the steps. A hard life he must have been leading - to make sure there *was* fish for Passover. A man with a heavy weight on his shoulders walks up the stairs. And as soon as he saw the kids at the top waiting for him, he immediately straightens his shoulders so that they don't see how beaten he is, and smiles at them. Poignant. Been there.. Just before Passover, Leah and Harry befriend a carp and attempt to keep their mother from turning it into her famous gefilte fish.. A viral Books The Carp in the Bathtub Just read keeping my kids company during Yom Kippur services (I had heard of this book from my childhood), and was struck by the kids' desire to save the fish but the parents' insistence on killing the various fishes in order to prepare the gefilte fish for the Jewish holiday. If this tale were told today, perhaps a different ending in support of vegetarianism or similar??