A near tragedy has just been averted.
The four feckless fish that fester in their grungy bowl have just been subjected to a power wash. This riles me. I didn’t want these bloody fish in the first place. I know from po faced experience that the contract drawn up between parent and child never stands. The top level negotiations over feeding and cleaning and caring and grooming have a lifespan of three weeks. Three weeks before Snowy or Smudge or Birdy are usurped by the next best thing.
So this morning the fish got it.
An icy blast of silky tap water disturbed their peace and the sludge beneath. Yuk. Swirling swilling vortex of tepid grime replaced by clean fresh H2O. And then, peering into the depths I noticed that the tiniest minnow, finger nail long, was upside down and not happy. God, I can’t stand them, but not enough to resort to genocide – fishocide. I thought about tipping some brandy into the bowl, but we haven’t got any (see Eli and his crutch for Christmas). Then I dipped my finger into the water and quickly realised the fish might be suffering from frostbite.
So I boiled the kettle.
Tricky one this, warm them up, but don’t poach them. Suffice to say it worked, they are all now back to their usual slippery selves and I am considering applying to Animal Hospital.
Because I have just remembered that last night I spent several nervous minutes in the dark dark garden, placing mouse traps. At least I hope it’s a mouse. Either a giant mouse or maybe a small rat. Something, some dastardly creature is gnawing through paper/cardboard/Eli’s golf bag, and now rubble, in its attempt to conquer the world.
Brick dust and mortar lie in piles outside, under the kitchen window. Where a plastic pipe exits, vermin wants to enter. Charles thinks all this is side splittingly funny, and alternates between wanting to obliterate whatever it is with his catapult and calling the Wildlife Trust in case it’s a hazel dormouse, and a protected species.
Protected? Not in my back yard.
And now an attempt at an ode.
(Apologies to Ode to a Nightingale…)
Ode to a Junk shop Jug
You were not made for work, clear cut vessel,
No wear and tear or common drudge for you,
Squat yet grand you stand on clothed trestle
And snub the lesser cache that will accrue
In dank cupboards and fusty shelves, forgot,
Not needed tools with ivory hilts lay lost
In thin green felt, silver clouds bloom and blow,
But not for you this lot,
Your crystal scope immune to fade, no rust
Can seep through prism walls etched deep, light flows.
“Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird!
No hungry generations tread thee down;
The voice I hear this passing night was heard
In ancient days by emperor and clown:
Perhaps the self-same song that found a path
Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home,
She stood in tears amid the alien corn;
The same that ofttimes hath
Charm’d magic casements, opening on the foam
Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn.”