Pond update…

nick's garden (3)

It was odd, when we thought about it, that all the healthiest fish had died, The ones we’d had concerns about were still with us. It was also odd that all our special friends amongst the fish had gone… the ones we had named as they taught us to know their characters. All except one… a huge sturgeon named Jay, for an old friend of Nick’s who was a gentle giant of a man.

Jay, at well over three feet long and with a girth to match, the gentle giant of the pond, who Nick was able to stroke and whose curiosity about the strange creatures above the water was as obvious as our own about him.

sturgeon (24)

But Jay was not recovering well last night. Nick and I spoke on the phone and he told me the sturgeon was still struggling badly… so he stayed with the fish so it would not be alone, protecting his exposed face, until very late. When I emailed Nick this morning, just before six, the response was almost immediate. It was not looking good… he was upside down in the water again.

When I got there, he was on the bottom, belly up. In itself, that meant nothing… that is the sturgeons’ usual position when something is wrong and it actually allows me to see the gills and make sure they are still moving. They weren’t.

We made a periscope-affair to get a better look, not wishing to disturb the fish if he were just resting. That just confirmed our fears and once more we faced the sad and, in this case, difficult task of lifting a friend from the pond.


His eyes had faded, his colour had gone, only a pale ghost of his star-patterned beauty remained. He must have passed overnight, after Nick had left him.  I have often seen the same with dying humans, that where there is a bond, death waits for their loved ones to leave before they do. Perhaps  staying with Jay had meant more to the fish than Nick could have known.

Everyone felt it. “It feels like a funeral,” said one of the gardeners, helping me to wrap the body. “I’ll bury him for you,” offered another. We can only hope now that Jay is the last to be lost.

The pond feels somehow ’empty’. Not through lack of fish, for many survived, but because the characters we knew are no longer there . They cannot be replaced… that is never possible, but others will fill the space left by their absence as we learn to know them. Perhaps, after yesterday’s visitation, a butterfly koi would be a fitting memorial.

garden (69)

And, once again, as we moved through another sad day, Nature chose to offer a small gift to lift the heart. One of the resident robins with babies to feed chose to seek grubs in the earth of the new garden as it was moved, constantly coming within touching distance and showing not the slightest fear or hesitation. And here, at least, the message is clear… as the robin is always the harbinger of new beginnings and renewal.


About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at scvincent.com and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email: findme@scvincent.com.
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68 Responses to Pond update…

  1. Sadje says:

    I feel for you!


  2. Darlene says:

    Sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. Animals certainly can take hold of your heart. I hope there will be no more losses.


  3. Ah, please give Nick a big hug for me. 😦 ❤


  4. memadtwo says:

    We were very attached to my daughter’s fish. They are wonderful creatures. I think you are right about Nick’s presence for Jay. (K)


    • Sue Vincent says:

      Because they appear so expressionless at a casual glance, it is only when you really get to know them that their characters become obvious and you do get very fond of them. I think Nick being there did matter.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. joylennick says:

    So sad for you, and particularly for Nick. Hugs xx


  6. quiall says:

    You both have my deepest sympathies.


  7. Very sorry for your loss, Sue. They were beautiful animals ❤


  8. willowdot21 says:

    Oh! I am so sorry that you have lost so many friends. I really do feel for you both and I am sending love to you both. Please give Nick a hug and tell him I am thinking of him.
    I do believe that Nick’s friendly butter fly was the spirits of his departed fish bringing him hope for the future.💜💜💜


  9. Your posts about the fish always make me emotional. I am so sorry for the loss of Jay.


  10. I feel with you too, Sue! He looked so interesting. A sad lost. Michael


  11. I’m so sorry about the fish. I think when the area around a pond goes bad, it does something to the water. I’ve seen it here, too. At least, with all the work afoot, you can start anew and this time, maybe all will be well.


    • Sue Vincent says:

      Thanks, Marilyn. The sad thing is that, apart from the oxygen levels, the pond is in perfect condition at the moment… but hopefully the new design will help keep it that way.


  12. jenanita01 says:

    Hopefully, the arrival of the robin signals the end of all the sadness, Sue…


  13. I’m sorry for the loss of your scaled friend, and hope he’s the last you’ll lose in the near future.


  14. Jennie says:

    And with sorrow comes joy. I’m so sorry for you both, Sue. Nature can be comforting.


  15. Alli Templeton says:

    Poor Jay, and another huge blow to you both. And strange that the Robin put in such a bold appearance – it does seem as though you have support from another realm. Devastating times, and I hope the little nature messengers continue to bring you hope. Thinking of you. ❤


    • Sue Vincent says:

      Thanks, Alli. The smaller fish seem to be spawning today… the first time this year… which in itself is a hopeful sign. And Robin is with us constantly hunting for grubs for his brood 🙂 x

      Liked by 1 person

  16. dgkaye says:

    This was so very sad Sue. I’m sorry you and Nick have lost so many of your fishy friends. I hope down the road when all is fixed with the pond and such you will bring new friends to lighten your hearts. ❤ xx


  17. Lyn Horner says:

    So sorry you lost Jay. He must have been beautiful, and he was obviously as attached to you and Nick as you were to him.


  18. Widdershins says:

    Bon Voyage, Jay. 😦


  19. pvcann says:

    I find the saying goodbye the hardest with our animal friends, we are about to build a new pond so fingers crossed.


  20. Very sad news indeed – Alli told me about this yesterday and I was sorry to hear it. It’s very strange how the Robin has suddenly appeared as if to fill the void though.


  21. Adele Marie says:

    My heartfelt condolences to you and Nick, so so sad. xxx


  22. We humans are lucky to make connections with those animals that allow it. A special affinity between Nick and Jay – thank you for this touching story.


  23. macjam47 says:

    I’m so sorry. I know your hearts are breaking. Sending love and hugs to comfort you and Nick.


  24. Did the fish die because of the disturbance in the garden, Sue?


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