I like nature. I do. I like it's little twigs and it's sprouty grass, it's wavy trees and blowing winds
But every now and then it all goes horribly, horribly wrong.
Gather 'round children and let me tell you a story, a story of innocen
OH MY GOD TOM, I AM TOTALLY GOING TO FREAK OUT RIGHT NOW!
It's OK, it's not THAT scary a story. Like, chill out
It all began "back in the day" when Snooze and I moved into our frankly "righteous" pad in inner-city Melbourne town. Oh they were happy days. A commonly agreed "feature of awesome-ness" in this new abode is an outdoor area I like to call the "backyard", complete with pondage.
For some months*, we assumed said pondage was just a stagnant cesspool of ancient waters, so you will appreciate our shock when we discovered, quite by accident, that these pools were in fact INHABITED!
After recovering from our collective shock we investigated further. A litter of goldfish, their bodies adapted to the lightless conditions and foodless depths, had been swimming their merry way in front of our very noses for weeks** and we had noticed nary a thing. Yet here they were, splishing in a carefree manner and generally living up a storm (insomuch as they were alive).
With mouths agape, we set to improving their conditions (I would consequently recommend NOT cleaning a filthy pond with your mouth open, but there you go). We scooped our new little friends from the bowels of the swamp and placed them in the washing basin, drained the ponds, scrubbed them, hosed them, and re-filled them with sparkling clear water fit for an item and then introduced our fishes back to their new home.
Oh how they gallavanted!
Among other things, our earlier exploratory work had unearthed a pump system designed to circulate the water from one pond to the other, giving the fish a chance to gambol in the running stream and generally benefit from the tasty goodness. With a stroke of genius, we decided to let the pump run as we left the house one night to give the fishes a good run.
You can imagine our horror then, when we returned the following day to discover the pond COMPLETELY EMPTY bar the smallest, most distressing PUDDLE OF HELL I have ever witnessed. In it struggled five or six terrified goldfish, gasping for, well, water I guess.
Amazingly, after we rescued them and put them back into the washing basin as we refilled the ponds, they were all fine - not a formal complaint from any of them.
We did this again (shut up - it was BY ACCIDENT) a couple of weeks later, but the plucky little tackers just bounced right back.
Over time we have learned to love our fishes and despite our track record of trying to kill them (BY ACCIDENT), I like to think they felt a certain affection for us too
And this is where I get back to nature (not literally, I'm not into that sort of thing).
For those who live, like, on the PLANET, you will know that we are in the grips of a drought the likes of which we have never seen
And so it was, that a few short weeks ago, as I waltzed (literally) around my house on a leisurely weekend, I happened to cast an eye out into our backyard and there saw an amazing sight.
Standing on the pond, it's graceful neck swaying to and fro, impossibly long, spindly legs and an elegantly tapered beak scything the air, was a herron. A large waterfowl of the wetland variety. And there it was, standing in our tiny inner-city backyard.
With barely concealed excitement I ran to find my camera to record this wonderous moment. Returning to the backyard, camera at the ready, there was the herron, gulping gently. I took a photo. The herron gulped some more. I took another. The herron eyed me with its beady eye.
But then a little nagging voice started in my head.
Why is there a herron in our backyard? (Isn't it pretty!) No, wait a minute, WHY IS THERE A HERRON IN OUR BACKYARD AND WHY IS IT GULPING LIKE THAT!!??
That's right readers. The fucken herron ATE OUR FISH. Not only did it eat our fish, it ate ALL BUT ONE!! There was one, solitary, quivering nervous wreck of a goldfish left.
So beware! Just because it looks pretty, doesn't mean it WON'T EAT YOU (or at least your fish). Nature's a bitch man. Or should that be nature's a bitch, man? Whatever. JUST DON'T LET YOUR GUARD DOWN WHEN NATURE'S AROUND. For real.
The use of "talking marks" in this "post" brought to you by Mike's Dad.
* and by months I do of course mean days
** and by weeks I of course mean multiple hours