Big fish or little
Someone stands out from the crowd
There is always one
The fish in the pond all have names and quite distinctive characters. Fred, a lovely bright orange butterfly koi, is one of the babies. The markings on his back look like someone has loosely painted him in watercolours. Of the babies, he is one of the bravest. Willow, on the other hand, another of the butterfly koi babies, is still quite shy. She is an elegant fish, a pearlescent white with just a touch of orange.
Fido, also known as Happy Fish, is the odd one out in the pond. He is a fairly large ghost koi who spends most of his time parked, motionless, in a corner. We have lost count of the number of times we’ve been told we have a dead or sick fish in the pond… it is usually Fido.
Quite apart for his penchant for playing dead, we think Fido has a problem. He cannot swim at the leisurely speed of other fish, not can he ‘aim’ at food. He can only zip about he pond at very high speed, his ‘gait’ making him look like a mad puppy wagging his tail and pushing smaller fish out of the way with his bow wave. At feeding time, he launches himself at the surface, mouth open, in an eternally optimistic attempt to grab food. Sometimes he is successful. But he always perseveres.
We do not know whether he has some malfunction of the swim bladder that affects his buoyancy or some other malady that shapes the way he can swim… he has always been this way and he is now over ten years old. Whatever the cause, you cannot mistake him for any of the other fish… not even the other ghost koi. But nor can you help smiling when you watch him bombing around the pond and breaking the surface. Perhaps that is why he was one of the first fish to have a name.