In a case of life imitating art, a missing pet fish was lost and found recently in New Hartford in dramatic fashion - a story worthy of a Hollywood treatment. And maybe even better than the 2003 animated hit "Finding Nemo," featuring the search and rescue of an intrepid clown fish.

The recent heavy rains that washed away roads, eroded farmlands, and flooded streets in Oneida County and beyond, also flushed a precious koi fish out of its cozy pond on the property of a family that wishes to remain anonymous.

"I don't see Big Mama," the New Hartford woman said to her husband after inspecting the post-rain damage to their homestead and finding their 16" koi fish missing.

"Oh, she's probably hiding with her babies," said the husband, downplaying the whole event. But a close inspection of their pond confirmed the wife's fears; Big Mama was gone.

Two days later they got a call from a neighbor, who said he spotted the big koi swimming in a pool of water, seeking some shade under a bank (upper left corner below), in a ditch down the road.

Credit: TSM

Big Mama had been swept away in the rain, through brush and drainage pipes, and had come to a stop with only a small scratch on her head after a very rough 400-foot trip.

An amazing story of survival. 400 feet. Picture the distance between home plate and the center field fence at Yankee Stadium and you'll understand how far the fish traveled against its will.

Big Mama is back in her pond, reunited with her babies, who haven't left her side since she returned home. After the success of "Finding Nemo" and "Finding Dory," maybe we should write a script for "Finding Big Mama" and send it in to Pixar.

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