“I have something to show you,” I say.
“Is it something nice?”
Damn – He thinks I’ve baked a cake. I should have done – a lemon sponge might have been some small consolation for what I am about to show him.
“No,” I say as we go out into the garden, “It’s something sad.”
I indicate the pond. There, floating, silvery, magnificent and quite, quite dead is our beloved Chris.
Oh, you might think – a fish. Couldn’t you just have run down to the pet shop and replaced it? Nobody would have been any the wiser. So I should tell you that Chris is a koi carp of such dimensions that we used to have a bit of a Captain Ahab/Moby Dick thing going on.
“I’m sorry, son. That icy spell. He already had an ulcer, so maybe it’s good he died in his winter sleep.”
“Oh – I remember when he used to swim backwards for food.”
We stand together and share fond memories of happy times with Chris. It takes about ninety seconds – he was a fish after all.
“Perran, what shall we do with the body?”
I shall draw a veil over the comments about batter, salt and vinegar. Safe to say, I think we’ve out-grown pet funerals. Just as well as I’ve no cardboard box remotely big enough for a coffin.