The Ghost in the Pond –
I have watched with trepidation as the ice and snow on the pond has melted and life begins to stir.
A few years back , after experimenting with expensive Koi and other exotic types of fish in our pond and managing to kill them all off in one way or another, I got fed up and went to the old Broadway Feed and purchased 100 goldfish that were normally meant to feed bigger fish.
In fact some of these fish are 10 years old- I kid you not . One poor little devil with a beautiful long tail accidently got dropped on the ledge when we redid the pond a few years ago. I think he/she broke its back . I fully expected to be taking it out of the pond the next morning, but I was wrong apart from having to swim sideways he/she has managed to stay alive over three winters now.
My husband has moaned and moaned about the cost of keeping the pond going all winter for fish that were essentially “fish food” .
” Lets shut down the pond and just buy more feeder fish every spring.”
But I couldn’t do that , those fish had “procreated” and had babies of their own (some of whom they ate I will admit ) but I felt responsible for them. So the pumps keep the water flowing and the “air hole” for the escaping gases has to be kept open much to my husbands annoyance.
There was always a lot of grumbling from the men in this house as I nagged at them to go out in minus temperatures to make sure the air holes were open. It is a big job to keep the pond healthy summer and winter, but it gives so much pleasure ( to me at least)
Chris actually loved the more exotic fish and would buy them., such a waste as they were very expensive and they always ended up dead.
I thought he had learned his lesson but last Mother’s day along with my tadpoles that have turned hopefully into frogs ( I know two did ) I watched as Chris slipped something else into the pond.
A Ghost Koi
“Oh Chris ! why would you buy another Koi? you know they never survive the winter”
as he mischievously grinned up at me from the water’s edge
“I needed to get this one and it’s Mother’s Day so you have to accept it “
The pond was not taken care of this fall in the same way and attention as we would do normally. No netting to stop the leaves from falling in the pond and decaying causing the toxic gasses. We only managed to run the small pump which cut in and out through the winter. Our days of despair left no desire to make sure the air holes were open . In the grand scheme of things the fish were the least of our concerns.
I watched as the snow got higher and higher on the pond and felt a twinge of sadness and guilt ( the truth be known )that my last Mother’s Day present was probably gone. I hoped the frogs would survive and I hoped that Chris would understand.
I was in Chris old room a couple of days ago. I looked out of the window at the pond , the spring sunshine was warming the water. There were flashes of gold as the surviving fish made their way to the warmth and then -a flash of silver.
I was scared to look closer , maybe it was one of the pale goldfish , we have a couple. I couldn’t bring myself to go to the pond for a better look. I can still see my son kneeling by the pond and surreptitiously slipping in that Koi .
Chris would check on the Koi every time he came home , he would ask in the hospital
“How’s the Ghost has it given up the ghost yet?”
I had told myself last summer I would look up how to keep this fish over the winter.
I berated Chris for giving me that hassle and he just grinned at me again.
would I have to set up an aquarium for it?
I got my courage up and took a deep breath and went to the pond. Yes the Ghost Koi had survived and slides silently among the gold and the dark water .
My Mother’s Day present survived and once again I saw in my mind my son’s grin .