Thursday, April 27, 2017

A Fishy Tale

My good wife saw a pond on sale at Wal Mart and decided it would be just the thing for our back yard. She presented it to me for installation. I pointed out that a pond without fish would be a nursery for mosquitos. The pond was planted and Wal Mart goldfish added.

A son-in-law replaced a toilet in the house and left it lurking in the back yard. Not one given to wasting treasures I installed the toilet in a mound of earth beside the pond and painted it a concrete gray. Flowers took root in the tank and a fountain in the bowl wafted a stream of water down into the fish pond. A virtual miracle of design and technology!

Raccoons cleaned out the fish. I installed a predator net and new goldfish.

She who must be obeyed decided we should move to a larger house. It had a jungle garden overrun and abused and no fish pond. I went out, bought a new pond, a new predator net, and went to work. Soon a miniature cottage on top of a tiny hill spouted water into a stream running down into the fish pond. Everyone was relatively happy.

The problem with our climate is you cannot leave fish outside in a pond all year long. Sometime around the end of October they will form part of a large block of ice. So each year we’d remove the three fish, drain the pond, and bring them inside to a large tank some good friend decide we needed and he didn’t.

One fall I had the pond almost empty and was cleaning the pump when lo and behold, I discovered a small fish inside. When the Mrs. checked the two inches of muddy water remaining in the pond she discovered four more tiny fish. I remembered then I’d dumped most of the water out onto the front yard to soak the trees...two hours ago. I found another eight fish still flopping around in the grass and the dead leaves.

We now drain the pond through a strainer into a pail each fall. We have a tank downstairs with the seven largest fish and a tank upstairs with roughly fourteen (They won’t stay still to be counted) from that last two years’ broods. I have gifted a grandson with enough fish for two small tanks and my son-in-law has two large tanks in his living room. The fish store says they may take some and give me credit against future purchases.

I have studied fish medicine, water changing techniques, and how to peel frozen peas. I am running out of friends who desire a valuable goldfish.

Fortunately the always-starving cat pays the fish no attention at all. Now I need lights for the upstairs tank because I’ve been advised the tank is too dark. Outside, the ice is now off the pond and the yard is a mess. It’s that time of year again.

Oh good grief. No wonder I have trouble finding time to write!


The Dark Lady Trilogy (Volume 1,2,3)
The Queen’s Pawn (Volume 1,2,3)
The Housetrap Chronicles (Volumes 1 to 8)
Alex in Wanderland,
Knight’s Bridge
We’re Not in Kansas
Toltec Dawn (Book 1, 2, of 3)