Up close…

The phone rang. It was getting late and only one person is likely to call me at that time, so it was no surprise to hear my son’s voice. What was surprising, though, was the tone of the voice that I heard down the line.

“It’s the big sturgeon…” for a moment, I thought it was panic I was hearing. Especially after the tragedy we had with the pond a little while ago, when so many of his fish had been lost to the heat. But he sounded more like a small boy on Christmas morning.  His next words explained that, “…it’s just been eating out of my hand! Er… he doesn’t have teeth, does he?” I reassured him… sturgeons are bottom-feeders; their mouths, situated underneath their heads, extend like the tubes of a vacuum cleaner.

I could quite understand the excitement, though. The big sturgeon is Big with a capital ‘B’.  The death of Jay, the largest of the three sturgeon, had hit hard, but this one seemed to be growing into his place, both in terms of size and character. My son named him Envy… a reminder of his own teenage ‘tag’ based upon his initials, N. V.

In fact, since he lost so many of the fish, he has named almost all of them. The names are not randomly chosen… he waits until he knows them well enough as individuals to give them a name that reflects their looks or character. We have, amongst many others, the graceful Willow, armoured Lancelot, orange and black Garfield… even Happy Fish has been renamed Fido, because his antics and movement remind us of a puppy.

And the big sturgeon is not the only one happy to feed from Nick’s hand, even though this has only been an option for the past two days. The pond, until work started to remodel the old, decked garden nearly three months ago, was completely surrounded by the handrails Nick needed to get around.

A bit of creative thinking, though, along with the progress Nick has made over recent years, has allowed us to open up the access, which makes my life easier for cleaning the pond and lets Nick get up close to his fish.

The fish, in turn, have grown used to us watching them every day as we have spent the summer in the garden, watching every stage of the work to make sure it not only looks good but works for Nick’s needs.

They have adapted to all the strange noises from tools, machinery and workmen and show as much interest in us as we do in them. All it took was for Nick to spent a chilly hour with his hand in the pond one evening for the fish to come close enough to feed.

Some are still wary, but all of them are interested and swim within inches of his hand as he lays there, so still that he attracts observers…and passengers.

But the big sturgeon is by far the most comfortable, taking to the new relationship like the proverbial duck to water. By the second day, he was not content with hoovering up the food from Nicks’ hand…

…he was coming up to where Nick was sitting and asking to be fed, making loud, sucking noises, raising his head right out of the water…

…and pretty much crawling up Nick’s arm, with his extendable mouth.

It is a delight to see Nick and his fish together, and watch as a wordless communication grows, eye to eye, between two worlds… breaching the species barrier with a love and trust that seems to work both ways… and seems to feed something in both species.

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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70 Responses to Up close…

  1. This is such a lovely post, Sue, it brought tears to my eyes. I am so pleased that Nick is enjoying his fish. Gregory is coping much better than I expected with our travelling in Scotland, and I am so proud of him. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sue Vincent says:

      Thanks, Robbie, watching them together brings smiles too my face too.
      I’m glad your travels are going well… I;m not even going to ask if you are enjoying Scotland 😉 Hugs x

      Like

  2. Ritu says:

    Oh this brought a smile to.my face. It’s wonderful when those pets of yours finally show you that personal touch if recognition, especially fish 🥰

    Liked by 1 person

  3. jenanita01 says:

    So lovely to see Nick at peace in his new garden, Sue… amazing images too, thank you for sharing them…

    Like

  4. Lovely post, Sue and it brought tears to my eyes. There is a dragonfly resting on Nick in one of the photos. A soul at one with nature. ❤

    Like

  5. joylennick says:

    Such a heart-warming post, Sue, Tears to my eyes too. Wonderful to read of the rapport your son Nick has with his fish. Food for thought. (Did you see the TV prog recently about the study of an octopus kept in a tank to study?) It really wanted to interact with the guy studying it and his daughter. So much to learn about relationships between the species …..Fascinating. x

    Like

  6. Darlene says:

    A wonderful post. I love the connection between humans and animals. Great pictures.

    Like

  7. How wonderful Sue! And how equally wonderful for Nick. A lovely post with some terrific pictures..

    Like

  8. Sadje says:

    Amazing what love and care can achieve.

    Like

  9. You shared such a lovely story. Although it’s sad to hear some fish were lost to the heatwave, at least there are those who have been doing really well. I can see why you son loves these fish… Truly beautiful pictures… My goodness, they are huge!

    Like

  10. What a cool story! I didn’t know fish would feed that way, and I’m too squeamish to ever give something like that a try. So glad you shared this!

    Like

  11. If only our children were as biddable when they were young! I suppose it’s no different than our household pets, who seem to have to trouble at all getting us to do exactly what they want. I’m glad Nick has found such a neat connection and that he has easy access to them now. Are you a great Mom or what?

    Like

  12. Ooooohhhhh – so it’s all for OUR benefit, then. With a catchy title, you could have a bestseller on your hands!

    Like

  13. Widdershins says:

    Speaking if things sturgeon-ish … reading our local paper this afternoon I came across a picture of a ‘catch-and-release’ photo of a fish caught in our river. (I’m not a fan of catch-and-release, but at least the poor traumatised fish gets to go on living) So this fish is a sturgeon. it measured 3.5 meters (11’4″) long, and 1.55 meters (5′) around it’s middle. It was probably a female, they say, weighed an estimated 360 kilos (800 pounds) and was well over 100 years old.
    Nick’s gonna need a bigger pond! 😀 … and a lot more fishfood!

    Like

  14. Mary Smith says:

    Wonderful post. Did you or Nick watch the documentary this week on the researcher keeping an octupus in his home? Fascinating.

    Like

  15. Eliza Waters says:

    This is such a sweet, kind connection. I love it!

    Like

  16. Suzanne says:

    How wonderful! I loved the photos too.

    Like

  17. memadtwo says:

    This left me smiling! (K)

    Like

  18. dgkaye says:

    Such a happy post Sue. I’m so glad to see the new family of fish is doing well. Nick must be elated. ❤

    Like

  19. What wonderful images, even i would have fear getting so close to the sturgeon. It seems you have the biggest fishes, i ever have seen. Great! Psst: I remember the miraculous toad, loioking a little bit like our former Bavarian prime minister Strauß. Lol Michael

    Like

  20. willowdot21 says:

    I have really loved to follow Nick’s blossoming relationship with his new fish. There is something truly magical about it. The thought of these two species, man and fish forging this close bond is so beautiful.💜

    Like

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