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This Little Girl Forgot She Snuck Her Pet To School In Her Sippy Cup, And The Story Of How She Got Caught Red-Handed Is Hilarious

"This is a first for our school..."

It may not look like it, but an adorable 3-year-old named Peyton is up to something fishy in this photo...

Peyton with her backpack on holding up her sippy cup and smiling
Lauren Scanlan

Here's the hilarious story — shared by Peyton's relative Connor Hughes — of how she snuck her pet fish into preschool:

Having recently gotten married, @BrieHughes3 & I have started the discussion on having children. I received this text message from my cousin today and I'm not sure we're ready.

Twitter: @Connor_J_Hughes

Basically, Peyton took her pet fish to school in a sippy cup...

Lauren Scanlan

...and she only got caught because she forgot the fish was in her cup and DRANK THE FISH WATER, drawing the attention of her teacher, who noticed something (the fish) in her cup! 🤢🐟🤢🐟

Lauren Scanlan

BuzzFeed spoke to Peyton's mom, Lauren, to learn more about her shenanigans.

Lauren poses for a picture in front of a frosted Christmas tree with her family, including Peyton
Lauren Scanlan

Peyton's fish, named Mermaid, became a member of their family in October after Peyton was infatuated with the fish during a trip to Petco. "Picking out the right one was a huge decision for her and, after a long 15 minutes, she finally made her choice," said Lauren.

Mermaid the fish swimming in the fish tank which also has a mermaid figurine and unicorn figurine
Lauren Scanlan

However, a little over a week ago, Lauren received a call from Peyton's preschool program director. "I was absolutely not prepared to pick up the phone and hear, 'Mrs. Scanlan, did you happen to know that Peyton brought her Beta fish to school today in her sippy cup?!' I just replied with, 'Um, no Ms. Cheryl, I did NOT know that she smuggled her fish this morning in her sippy cup,'" laughed Lauren.

TV One

Lauren said she was in shock and mortified, but she and the program director couldn't help but crack up. "I did ask, 'Please tell me something like this has happened before at the school.'" And her reply was, 'No, this is a first for our school!'"

So, what was Peyton's reason for taking Mermaid to school? Simply because she "loves her so much." Lauren said, "I couldn't even be mad at her. I opened the sippy cup lid and saw that she even put fish food in the cup! She was a good and responsible pet owner — pretty impressive for a 3-year-old to fill her cup with water, scoop her fish out of the tank, put it in the sippy cup, add food, close the lid, and put it in her backpack...all within a max of two minutes while I ran upstairs to get her clothes. She is truly wise beyond her years!"

Lauren Scanlan

Lauren did say that the morning Peyton brought the fish into school, she felt like something was up. "Every morning, she feeds Mermaid. When I went over to where she was, she said, 'No mommy, stay away, don't come over here!' Clearly, that was suspicious. I did notice that she spilled the fish food on the floor, so I just told her it was OK and that I would clean up the fish food. It never crossed my mind that she would put Mermaid in a sippy cup."

Since the incident, Lauren has had a sit-down talk with Peyton about what she can and cannot bring to school. But, for now, she still checks to make sure all pets are accounted for before Peyton goes to school!

Lauren and her sibling sitting on a bench filled holiday-decorated pillows and stuffed toys
Lauren Scanlan

Oh, and if you're wondering if Mermaid is still alive, she is! Except now she has a tank with a lid that is secured by duct tape. You have seen more than most Beta fish, Mermaid. Cheers to a long, happy life!

Lauren Scanlan