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The Heartwarming Reason Mister Rogers Always Announced That He Was Feeding His Fish

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The Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood show was loved by young children (and their parents) since its debut in the late ’60s. Fred Rogers remained the host for the program’s 31-season run, which ended in 2001. He inspired viewers across America to be kinder, loving neighbors, including model and cookbook author Chrissy Teigen.

Chrissy once tweeted one of her favorite stories of the late Mister Rogers, which is why he would loudly announce before feeding his fish on the show. Fans also noticed the constant gesture and wondered why that was.

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‘I’m feeding the fish’

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The little girl, who was named Katie, wrote to Mister Rogers, expressing her concern for the fish. “Mister Rogers would narrate himself feeding the fish in each episode with ‘I’m feeding the fish’ because of a letter he received from a young blind girl who was worried the fish were hungry. Love you, Mister Rogers,” Chrissy wrote, paying tribute to the late host.

RELATED: Fred Rogers’ Widow Reveals The Adorable ‘Mister Rogers’ Way That He Proposed

The fish story also appears in a book containing children’s letters to the TV personality. “One girl and her family wrote to tell us there was a special reason why she wanted me to talk about feeding the fish each day,” the book noted. The girl’s letter was simple and sweet, stating, “Dear Mister Rogers, Please say when you are feeding your fish because I worry about them. I can’t see if you are feeding them, so please say you are feeding them out loud.”

MISTER ROGERS’ NEIGHBORHOOD, Fred Rogers (host), King Friday, 1968-2001. ph: ©PBS / courtesy Everett Collection

Mister Rogers was a very kind man.

Another story of Rogers’ kind nature was when he welcomed Officer Clemmons, an African-American colleague on the show, to wash his feet alongside him at the height of civil unrest in America. “He invited me to come over and rest my feet in the water with him. The icon Fred Rogers not only was showing my brown skin in the tub with his white skin, but as I was getting out of that tub, he was helping me dry my feet,” Clemmons told NPR.

MISTER ROGERS’ NEIGHBORHOOD, Francois Clemmons, Fred Rogers, 1968-2001.

It was a bold move from Rogers that challenged the intense social state of the country back then. “They didn’t want Black people to come and swim in their swimming pools,” Clemmons wrote in his memoir. Even though he was welcome, Clemmons was reluctant to join Rogers in the pool but later obliged. “It was transformative to sit there with him, thinking to myself, ‘Oh, something wonderful is happening here. This is not what it looks like. It’s much bigger,'” he recounted in an interview with WBUR.

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