Hatching Plans, Or Not...

I was reminded of a children’s book yesterday. Can’t remember the title, or much of the story, but it’s the one about the bird who sits and sits and sits on an egg, expecting a chick to hatch one day. Instead, what pops out is an elephant or dinosaur, or something equally outrageous. Remember it? That's sort of what has happened with my—THE—pond. (It began as my pond, but it’s not any longer. Yesterday’s revelation cinched it.) As you may recall from previous pond reports, after a difficult couple of years, which read very much like the pond world version of Russian history—poisoning, eye gouging, vivisection, deception, death and rulers being overthrown—the pond is now dominated by a school of slimy, white-black-orange splotched eel-like fish with beady eyes and whiskers. Not only are they ugly,  they skulk in the dark recesses of the pond and only dart out to gobble food. The only creatures who have managed to evade their wrath are algae eaters, sapu-sapu, “sweeper fish” as we call them. They must taste really foul.

Rohemon introduced the lele into the pond about a year ago—and the evil monsters promptly killed off  every specimen other than the aforementioned sapu-sapu. The only reason I could fathom for Rohemon wanting them is for eating. Ikan Lele is a popular Indonesian fish dish. Assuming he was raising them for future dinners—not a stretch as we have raised other fish that turned into dinner—and as the pond was bubbling along nicely as a stock pond, I decided to let the lele be. And came up with a plan…

The Plan was simple: As soon as the lele were fattened up, we'd slaughter them all, pop their nasty carcasses in the deep freeze and restock the pond with friendly little spa fish. All that would be left to do is edge the pond with colorful pillows, turn on soothing music, pour some wine and sip away with our feet dangling in the water, watching the spa fish nibble the dead skin off our toes.

Ever since hatching the plan, I have been monitoring the lele, watching them grow, waiting for the day they would be big enough to eat. Soon, I told myself, a few days back, they look dinner size. Maybe sooner…

Then, yesterday, Rusnati shared news that blew my lovely fish spa dream to smithereens. The pond is suddenly swarming with weensy, slimy, vile, skittish, bewhiskered baby monster lele. And so it goes with eggs and plans.

Pond, bahhhh. Rohemon can have it!