Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Dead Pet

All day I have nursed a melancholy secret, but now Perran is home.  He is a man – he can share the burden.

“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.

Chris!”

“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.