One day, a long time ago, last May actually. We bought our dream home in tropical Cairns. The home was a Queenslander and we could see ourselves sitting on the back verandah sipping gin and tonic as we enjoyed the bubbling water in the back yard fish pond that we inherited with the house.
I’d never had fish before and thought I’d add a few extra inhabitants to the pond and chose some fat round friendly looking gold fish from the pet shop and lo and behold the fish already in the pond immediately attacked the poor hapless gold fish and bit off their fins killing them within an hour. I would have rescued the poor things except that I misjudged the nudging and nibbling of the other fish as fishy gestures of welcome.
But the dead fish got me suspicious about the alive ones. So I took a jar of the pond fish into the pet shop.
“Oh they’re native guppies,” said the sales guy, like he knew all there was to know about fish. I believed him.
So I googled native guppies to find out how to carefully look after them, seeing as they were native and found there is no such thing as native guppies. They are also called Mosquito fish but their real name is Gambusia and they are the rabbit of the rivers. I sent a picture of the fish off to Fisheries and Wildlife and they sent it off to a Gambusia Professor expert person who said, ‘Yes they are definitely Gambusia. Oh and by the way there is a nice little $10,000 fine if you keep them or give them to anyone.’
So I disposed of the Gambusia as instructed very sternly by Fisheries and Wildlife, by cleaning out the pond, which was black and obviously hadn’t been cleaned out since the Big Bang. I stood knee deep in mucky gooey – what I can only imagine was years of fish poo – handing buckets of murky smelly water to the kids to tip on the garden.
Finally the pond was sparkling clean.
In went new fish.
In went a brand spanking new bubble maker thingy to keep it sparkly and clean.
In went the Cane Toads (the rabbits of Northern Australia) that night whilst I was sleeping.
In the morning the water was green, due I am told to the high nitrate content of the Cane Toads wee and poo.
And the pond was filled with millions of Cane Toad eggs.
On the weekend, I stood in the murky Cane Toady water and handed buckets of it to the kids.
I filled the pond in with sand and dirt and stones.
I built a pedestal with bricks and concrete slabs 2 feet high so the Cane Toads couldn’t get in.
I bought a fibre glass pond and stuck it on the pedestal.
I bought new fish. The Cane Toads had eaten some of the others (I assume that’s why they were missing and not because they had left me for being a bad fish carer).
The new fibre glass pond cost me a fortune.
I bought pretty lilies to give the fishies shade.
I hung up a mosquito net to stop the fishies from being drowned in falling leaves
I put up an umbrella to shade them from the afternoon sun.
I began to love my fish.
The pond leaked.
It leaked everywhere and created a new pond around the base of the pedestal which immediately filled with copulating Cane Toads and their eggs.
So now the fishies are in our bath.
Pete (my hubby) says now that they have been spoilt and allowed inside – we’ll never get them back out again.
I am sorry this story has no meaning or words hopeful of wisdom. it is just frivolous story about how the fish ended up living in our bath.