My garden is a haphazard affair. There is no master plan to my flower garden other than my own thoughts which typically go like this: “That looks like a good spot” or “Hey, there’s a space there,” when planting a new flower. To use my mother’s words, my garden is a “mass of confusion”.
At some point, I decided my garden needed a water fountain so I searched for one that would fit my gardening style. I needed something that was not formal. Formal doesn’t go well with a mass of confusion. Although I wasn’t sure what exactly would go well in a mass of confusion, I was fairly certain that a concrete fountain of a child holding an umbrella or of a little boy peeing just wouldn’t fit. And really, who needs a pretend boy peeing in their yard when they can have the real thing? I have my husband Steve, who believes that it is his God-given right to pee outside.
I found a water fountain that would fit my style at Wal-Mart, home of all things informal, redneck and cheap. It is a square wooden box with an old-fashioned looking fake hand pump from which the water flows. It’s not too big. It’s not formal. I had the perfect spot for it, so I bought it, took it home and set it up.
It was loud. I wanted a nice trickle; instead, it sounded like the kitchen spigot was running full force. I tried to adjust the pump to slow down the water flow and lessen the noise, but that didn’t work. It was full throttle or nothing.
Undaunted, I decided to make it prettier and perhaps lessen the noise by adding some water plants and rocks. Once done, it sounded better. Still not as quiet as I’d like, but not as noisy either and for the price I paid, I was satisfied.
Later that spring, I arrived home from work one day to find that my water fountain was empty. The wind had blown all of the water out of the fountain as it flowed from the fake hand pump. I quickly unplugged the water pump and added more water and when I plugged it back in, it was fine. A few days later, the same thing happened again and I decided that I should only run the water fountain when I was home so that I didn’t ruin my water pump by running it in a dry fountain. Since my fountain would not be running daily and standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitos, I added three small goldfish to the fountain to eat any mosquito larvae. And things went swimmingly….for a while.
Several weeks after adding the rocks, plants and fish, Steve, who was outside, yelled, “Lorrie come quick and grab a bucket!”
“I put some bleach in the water fountain. I didn’t know there were fish in there, hurry up! They’re going to die!”
I headed outside, but I took my time. As a long time aquarium enthusiast, I knew those goldfish were as good as dead, if not dead already.
I arrived outside to find Steve standing there with two dead goldfish in one hand and a bottle of bleach in the other.
“Where’s the bucket? We need to put them in a bucket of water!”
The two fish in his hand were still; the third one was floating on its side in the fountain.
“Steve, look at them, they’re dead already. Why would you put bleach in my fountain?”
“Because the water looked green. I thought it was dirty.”
“Of course the water looks green, there are plants in there. The water is fine. If the water was bad, the fish wouldn’t have survived this long.”
I picked the remaining dead fish out of the water, took the two he had in his hands and disposed of them.
Yesterday Steve replaced the pump on my fountain and helped me put it back into the garden. After we got it set up, he asked if I’d be adding any fish.
“Maybe,” I said, smiling.
I wonder how many I should get this year?
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Daily prompt: survive