By Grant McGee: CNJ Columnist
One of the goldfish in the pond died the other day. It was a big ol’ fella; homegrown, born and raised in the backyard pond. I didn’t name it or anything, I just know it was born about five years ago.
“I have a dead fish back here,” I announced to The Lady of the House. “Is there some plant you want me to bury it near?”
“Put it near the rhubarb,” she said.
I didn’t know the fish personally, but I knew it didn’t deserve the dumpster or the toilet. I always liked the practice of the Native Americans, putting a dead fish in with the squash and corn for fertilizer (at least that’s what they taught us when I was a kid in school).
The dead fish reminded me of dead pets I have known, including a cat in the freezer. We encountered this when some pals and I helped an acquaintance quickly move out of her digs.
“Why do you have to move out so fast?” I asked the woman as we dashed about the apartment tossing things in boxes.
“The landlord found my cat,” she said.
“I thought your cat died.”
“She did,” she said. “I had her in the freezer.”
We all stopped in our tracks.
“Don’t judge me,” said the woman. “I bury all my cats in my mom’s backyard in Seattle and it’ll be a couple of months before I go there.”
“And how were you going to get a frozen cat on an airplane?”
“In my suitcase, of course.”
I wondered if that would make national news like the woman who tried to smuggle a human head past customs at the Ft. Lauderdale airport in 2006. It was to be used in her voodoo rituals.
Interesting what a dead fish makes you remember.