Friday, December 30, 2005

The 24¢ Fish

Back in the summer of 2003, in the dog days of August, Hubby and the Younger Son built a little pond in our yard. It was a nice little pond with a small spray of water in the center.

It was not big enough for My Guys. Apparently ponds can be weenies and we certainly can't have THAT in our yard, now can we?

So back in the spring of 2004, Hubby and the Younger Son built a bigger, deeper, better pond. It was a very nice pond. A 300 gallon pond with a waterfall, surrounded by rocks, with a small spray of water in the center. And plants. It had to have plants.

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Summer came, and the pond was still found to be weenie-ish. Apparently the ultimate way to unweenie a pond is to have it support Life Aquatic. And where does one find such things?

Petsmart, of course.

Petsmart was absolutely teeming with fin-bearing life forms and after much perusing Hubby decided that we should put...

wait for it...

feeder goldfish in the pond.
24¢ feeder goldfish.

Not pretty koi. No, just cheap, tiny carp.

No point in spending too much money on them, Hubby said, in case they croak. I wanted to tell him he is confusing fish and frogs, but decided to remain silent.

The fish do well in the pond. Hubby and/or Younger Son feed the fish several times a day, ignoring all advice from Experts on Fish and Ponds that they do not even need to be fed every day, let alone several times. Hubby talks to the fish. The fish begin to come to the surface whenever Hubby walks by the pond.

It's a bit eerie, actually.

Autumn approaches, as it invariably does, and the air begins to cool. So does the water in the pond. Hubby casually mentions one day that we need to get a tank set up in the bedroom.

Huh?? A tank? What in the world for?

Silly me. For the goldfish, of course. They would freeze to death if left outside in the pond and we certainly can't have that, now can we?

Apparently not.

A 29 gallon tank with filter, light, etc. is purchased and set up in our room. More food is bought. Chemicals are added. The fish are caught and placed in plastic bags, being released into their winter quarters after a suitable period of adjustment. Winter quarters that cost well over $125 to purchase and set up, so that the 24¢ fish can be safe and snug.
Hubby talks to the fish and feeds them several times a day. What the heck, the man works 24 hours on and 48 hours off, it gives him something to do.

Spring of 2005 comes. The pond water warms, aided by the heater that floated in it all winter. The fish are set free and seem to enjoy themselves. The whole neighborhood talks to the fish, cats try to catch them, and I can watch them from my craft room window. They push the plants around the pond, chew off their roots, and make sucking - chomping noises.

When Autumn came, I bowed to the inevitable and cleared off my dresser. The tank is prepared and the fish are caught, all 7 of them, and placed in their winter home.

They are HUGE.The 7 of them line up across the front of the tank and STARE.
They STINK. Oh boy, do they stink! I keep a bowl full of potpourri on my bedside table and spray my pillow with perfume. I fear my clothes reek and that people will look for whalers as I approach.

We should have fileted them and made brunch.

They will not be coming back in next year. I put my foot down (although not anywhere that water). I don't think they would fit anyway. I can picture one bloated fish, all that could be crammed into the tank, floating sideways and unable to move, just waiting for spring.

Carp sandwich, anyone?


Jessica said...

At least you can keep fish alive for longer than 3 days... Maybe the trick is to buy the really cheap fish (instead of the $15 each variety) and to talk to them...

Nalani said...


Patty used to have a very similar pond--in Ohio--. They had some sort of heater in the pond and the fish stayed in the pond all winter and survived. So maybe, just maybe you can talk Billy into letting them spend the winter outdoors. Assuming you have a heater in the pond of course. Try it. It just might work. If not give Billy $2.00 to go buy some more 27 cent fish.

Oh, by the way. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Nalani said...

Opps, 24 cent fish.

Jackie said...

Happy New Year to you and the fish, darby! *grin*