This is a post from Sally, she doesn’t keep fish now but she offers a nice anecdote of her past experiences with them!
You could say that I have a chequered history with fish. Much as I admire the beauty of Koi, I am perhaps not destined to keep them. Unfortunately nor are my neighbours!
As a child I had suggested to my parents that we might keep some goldfish. There were goldfish at school and they seemed easy to look after. I had a cat but felt that more pets would enhance my life. My parents did not agree. I then won a goldfish at the local funfair and returned home with it feeling that my new friend would change my parent’s mind. It didn’t! And my father flushed the poor creature down the toilet! Needless to say I was absolutely mortified that I had inadvertently led the poor fish to its death.
The Miracle Koi
I thought that this would be the last time that I would see a fish in my home growing up but my cat had other ideas. Jason was a relentless hunter who was given to presenting us with his catches. Many rodents and birds had ended up on our kitchen floor over the years but then Jason turned his attention to fishing.
One morning my mother dragged me into the kitchen to show me Jason’s latest victim. I was astonished to see that he had brought us a large koi which my mother had placed in a dustpan. I then pointed out that our neighbour was the proud owner of several koi. We feared that his collection was now missing a fish. We were debating how to break the news of the fatality to our neighbour when the koi’s mouth began to move. The fish was a fighter, it was still alive!
This seemed like a minor miracle as Jason would have had to scale two fences and jump through the cloakroom window with the fish in his mouth. It had been out of the water for at least two hours. But it was moving so we hastily filled a bucket of water. When we put the koi in the bucket it started swimming. It was me who got the job of walking next door to ask if the ‘miracle fish’ belonged in the neighbour’s pond. It did! How embarrassing!
Many years later my parents moved to a new house that featured a large pond in the garden. I had to laugh when I saw that the pond was full of fish. I feared for them! My parents did not have a cat but they had no experience of keeping fish either and so I thought that this was a story that could only end badly, especially given my father’s lack of interest in fish. I didn’t know it then but it wasn’t the fish that I should have been worried about.
My father actually took an interest in his new charges and invested in a better pond pump and copious supplies of fish food. One day he was feeding his stock some summer pond food when he noticed some debris in the pond. He lent forward to grab it and promptly fell in. My mother said she looked out of the kitchen window to see my father submerged up to his head! He managed to climb out but was covered in plant life and the summer pond food he had just thrown into the pond. The fish all survived the incident.
I am happy to report that more than a decade later the fish are now thriving and my father has never fallen in again. I have never tried to keep fish as I am convinced that I am cursed. None of my neighbours seem to have fish in their ponds and that might have something to do with my cats!