Tell Me. How In The Hell Did It Get There?

the pondI peered out the window through bleary eyes while sipping my first cup of coffee and assumed my Bichon Roxy had carried something into the yard from a wastebasket. She has a doggie door. I’ve found socks and other sundry items, including underwear, scattered about our lawn, but it’s been a while.

Later in the day, I looked out from an upstairs window and remembered my early morning sighting. Something strange sat in the middle of our lawn. Although the grass hadn’t greened up its white surface gleamed.

I ran, okay, limped to the back door of the house and slipped on my shoes. Roxy accompanied me as I walked toward the strange shape.

“What the…?” A two-foot long algae-eating carp lay on the grass at least 40 feet from our pond. It hadn’t been eaten or even tasted from what I could see.

something's fishy

How did it get there?

Great Blue Herons glide into our pond for a little sport fishing (more like shooting fish in a barrel – this it the warm up for metaphors later in the story), and could have snatched the carp and dropped it into the snow. It might have landed on its head and become unconscious. Without any flipping or flapping maybe the big bird couldn’t find it. This seemed early for Heron who migrate later in the spring.

I did see a Crane one day. Yep. I bet it was a Crane.

Usually they catch something smaller and eat it. Why didn’t they eat it?

Maybe it was an owl. Boulder County has a wide variety. The big fish could have jumped right into its claws. The Great Horned Owl I saw last summer could easily carry a fish that large.

I dismissed fox or coyote since it would be hard for them to sneak up on a fish with their paws paddling away.

We occasionally have hurricane force winds (one clocked over 130 MPH). A fish could have jumped and blown onto our lawn, but it’s been a couple of years since we’ve had winds that fierce.

A couple of weeks flew by, until one day, I sipped coffee through my bleary morning eyes and almost dropped my cup. Out in the backyard, at the exact same spot, lay another dead fish.

blaming aliens

“What’s going on?!” I asked Roxy. I slipped on my shoes and a hoody and headed out the door with my trusty Bichon. Just like the last one, this fish was the same size, variety, and uneaten.

We’ve lived in our house for nearly fifteen years and I’ve found tons of toads and snakes, but no fish just chillin’ in the grass, not even a small, dinky one.

It occurred to me that Mother Nature might have sent us a metaphorical message:

  • Something fishy is going on.
  • There are a lot of fish in the sea.
  • It got us hook, line and sinker, or in this case, stinker.
  • You’ve lived in your house so long, you smell like fish.
  • You think you’re a storyteller? Here’s a big fish story for you.
  • It’s a fish out of water, to be sure.
  • This bottom-feeder is the one that got away…

Or not….

Some animal has found a new sport, but which one?

Happy Earth Day!

What do you think happened to the fish? How did it travel to the middle of our lawn? Do you think it’s a message?

66 thoughts on “Tell Me. How In The Hell Did It Get There?

  1. A paranormal out of water phenomenon is nothing to make light of as you of all people should know. I predict it is a precursor to a truly “Foreboding” future. Beware. Better to “write” your wrong now or it’s Katy bar the door.

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  2. (while raising his hand) I know – – – I know – – – I know.

    Carp have large scales and they know how to use them (Sorta like ‘legs’ and she knows how to use them)

    Anyway the carp heard music coming from your house and he wanted to sing along using his scales (do, re, mi, fa, so, la, tee, do – – – he has no black keys so his scales are quite limited).

    However, as the carp was using his scales as legs – – – and simultaneously using them to sing – – – he became exhausted and passed on to that big pond in the sky.

    Being a ‘being’ he had to leave his earthly vessel behind while his soul went to – – – well – – – you know.

    You don’t? REALLY?

    His soul went to meet his sole mate who had departed this spinning hunk of rock a few weeks prior (your story, not mine: however, I would strongly suggest you stick with it).

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    • Hahaha! I think you nailed it Waldo! The fish’s soul found its “sole”mate on the grass. I wondered what all that noise was the other night. Singing carp!

      I looked out there today and the grass is the greenest right where they lay. Maybe the grass called out, “Fertilize me!”

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  3. Back in the day, my children would occasionally acquire pet fish. (Usually, this process involved a grandparent.) With depressing frequency, the fish would actually leap from the bowl. If someone was around, a child would summon me to a fishy rescue, but more often it resulted in a funeral.

    So I have good news and bad news. The good news is that you can start establishing definitive scientific evidence for how far a suicidal algae eating carp can flop along your grass until it goes to that big pond in the sky. The bad news is that you have a seriously troubled fish pond population. Maybe you need one of those (waterproof) suicide prevention hotlines, staffed by volunteers trained to talk fish out of jumping.

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    • Great suggestions. I’ll take the first shift and will report back with my findings. In the meantime, I one of my goldfish went belly up. It’s becoming epidemic!
      Thanks Barb! Always great to “see” you!

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  4. In our area, the eagles drop things once in a while. We’ve found dead fish and loon bodies (half eaten) at the base of the huge firs where the eagles sometimes sit. A couple of weeks ago, the dogs got into something REALLY rotten that had been dropped from the sky. It seemed to be a very well rotted gut part of a sea lion. They are doing their thing in the bay just below our house while the herring season has been on. We couldn’t get the smell off the dogs for days.
    And I can identify with the underwear being “stolen” and dragged all over. I’ll stop here….

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      • My sheltie, Nick, and I have made it our project to pee around the perimeter of our lot as a means to repel the coyotes that frequent our neighborhood. We will offer the same services to anyone for the price of a six pack — but it has to be the good stuff. Nick is not so sure about the beer thing, but he has yet to name his price. I am pretty sure he would do it for free.

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  5. As usual, I’m late to the party. I suppose that someone has already guessed “flying fish”. Perhaps the carp have heard all the hoopla about the legal grass in Colorado and wanted to try it for themselves.

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  6. Sounds like you’re fishing for answers Susie. I’m going to take a chance here, but I think we can rule out the possibility of it being a Land-shark. Any guess you get from me now would be like shooting fish in a barrel—to quote an idiom, or is it an idiot, I forget which, as this has become a cliche-ridden response. ;o)

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  7. I think Roxy is slipping out on secret fishing expeditions … just for the sport, of course. Happy Earth Day, Susie, one day late … never mind, we celebrate it every day! You mention “limped” ~ how’s the recuperation going?

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    • Happy Earth Day to you! Roxy has been slipping out at night to howl at the moon. You never know!
      The recovery is slow, but sure. I started taking Pilates classes for strengthening. Once the swelling is completely gone, I’ll be on my way!
      Thanks so much, Pat!

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  8. Hmmm… Have you considered the fact that your pond may be… Haunted? Oh No… why did I say that? Now you will no doubt lay awake at night worrying about this prospect… but just think of the stories…

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