2005-05-11

Oh Boy! Dead Fish!

I noticed yesterday morning when I went out for the newspaper and fed the fish in the outdoor pond, that I only saw one of the fish.
The smaller, more timid of the two Koi. The bigger, orange one was not around.
I wasn't positive that the orange one wasn't just hiding. But it almost always came out faster than the white one.
But I didn't see it. I only saw the white fish deeply hidden in the plant pots.

I wondered if the fish had been taken by an animal and eaten. I had seen a cat prowling in our back yard just a day or two before. And it is possible for wilder animals to come through the area.

That evening I went out to look again. I still didn't see any sign of the orange fish. And the white fish had it's head stuck in a pot. I looked around from all sides and still didn't see it.

I decided it was time to backwash and fill the pond a bit. I use the hose to push back water through the pump, which always clears it a bunch. The water flows much better after I do that.

The pond was mostly filled, and my youngest son, 6yo, came out to join me. After a while he said he saw a fish. I thought he meant the white one. But it turns out he found the orange one. In the level below the pond. Dead.

Well, you don't want to traumatize kids. So I played it calm. I told him to leave it alone and I would take care of it. He asked in a concerned voice if the fish was dead. I said yes, that happens sometimes.

I shut down the hose, and put it away. I debated leaving the fish someplace to add to the nutrients. But then I though about decaying fish. Thinking of the potential smell, I got some plastic wrap and a zipper-bag. I checked the fish for signs of attack when I picked it up. It seemed intact. So I can only guess it either made a mis-judgment and jumped out of the pond in the wrong way - or maybe something scared it out of the pond.

But when I was telling my 6yo about the fish being dead, it reminded me of something. When I was a boy, maybe 4 or 5, my dad got me a fish tank. Being more techy than understanding biology, I was fascinated by the little lamp in the fish tank that stuck down into the water. But the light kept going off. So I would adjust the knob so the light would be on. I remember doing this a number of times.
I do not remember the next morning, but my parents told me the story a number of times. My dad came in to feed the fish. They were all floating on top of the tank. It seems they had overheated. My dad was really worried about how I would take it. He was sure I'd be upset, but he told me about the fish being dead. I was reported to have said: "Oh boy! Dead fish!"

1 comment:

Atomic Bombshell said...

My fear of fish is so bad, I can't even get past the title of this post. You know how some people freak out over snakes or spiders? Yeah, that's me and fish... EEW EEW EEW EEW EEW!