Thursday, May 2, 2013

Do Fish Grieve?

I know – silly question huh?

When we bought this Old Stone House it came with a very murky Koi pond that had 2 Koi, and a Catfish.

It has been evident from the beginning that the 2 original Koi ‘Candle’ and ‘Light’ were buddies (my granddaughter named them when she was 3).  They were always side by side.  Even during the winter when they settled to the bottom of the pond – those 2 were side by side.  We added 3 more fish a few years ago but they are all loners – paying no mind to each other and pretty much staying scattered from each other but those 2 original fish were always together unless they were feeding.  The catfish we only see when food is present – he blends in with the bottom and usually stays tucked in along side the water lily plants.

Over the years the big one ‘Candle’ has jumped out of the pond on several occasions – fortunately always when someone was nearby to scoop him up and put him back.  He did it again the other week just before I headed up to MA.  On that day there was a gardener working next door at my neighbors who heard the splash, put him back in the pond and then knocked on my door to tell me.  I tried to keep an eye on the pond through the day and sure enough I saw him laying out on the driveway later in the day.  I was afraid he was dead but he moved his mouth when I came up to him so back in the pond he went.  Later when I was watching them – it seemed that ‘Light’ the smaller one kept motivating ‘Candle’ to keep moving around in the pond – nudging him and making him swim.  He seemed to be OK – but when I returned from MA it was clear there was some damage to his scales along one side and on the ends of his fins – most likely from laying on the driveway… it wasn’t hot out but the pavement was probably at least warm from the sun that day.

I wasn’t surprised when Candle died one day last week… I saw him laying on his side in the pond late in the afternoon with his buddy floating right next to him. 

photo 4

We measured Candle when we took him out – he was 21 inches long and 3.5 inches thick… a really big guy. 

Light seems kinda lonely now… just hanging out by himself in the pond… and a little more skittish all by himself.  When I walk up to the ponds edge he swims away back into the water lily plants.  Maybe Candle was his protector...  I do feel bad for him that his buddy is gone.

1 comment:

KASEYSMOM65 said...

Cheryl this made me cry.....I think fish do grieve as all living things with a beating heart must do. I wonder how old he was? Any idea? Keep a close eye on his little buddy.