Legend has it that when a wolf began eating the good townsfolk of Assisi, St Francis walked into the woods and did a deal with the beast. In exchange for regular food, the wolf would cease from attacking people. It was peace in our time.
I killed half of our pets this afternoon. It was an accident but it doesn’t make it sit any easier. If it goes to trial, I will plead I was trying to be a Good Samaritan.
Mrs Head has been (repeatedly) reminding me to clean out the aquarium before we leave for the party island of Ibiza. Today was the day I decided to surprise her when she came home from work by actually doing at least one of the jobs from the long list she posted on the refrigerator door. Therefore my procrastinated intentions were sound.
As I lifted the aquarium I heard it crack. Water started trickling from its base. Waltzing it into the bath tub, I transferred our two ghost carp; Bubbles and Vanilla to an empty 2 litre Coke bottle. Frantically I tried to repair the leak but the story does not end well, dear readers. Bubbles and Vanilla didn’t make it as I couldn’t get enough air into the coke bottle.
My two youngest daughters are very attached to all our pets; 2 cats and 2 fish. Well, 2 cats anyhow. The girls are out for the day and I am now thinking how to break the news to them upon their return. One of my daughters has expressed an interest in being a veterinarian; but only if she doesn’t have to work with sick or suffering animals.
Simultaneously, I am clearing away the evidence. I will tell the girls that I buried Vanilla and Bubbles next to their other dear departed fish; Speckles. In reality the two ghost carp (now appropriately ghost-like), are making their way through the London sewer system following a ‘burial at sea.’
The aquarium is gone from the place it has occupied for the past decade. I think they are going to notice. I might go for the Bobby Ewing/Dallas argument and tell them it was all a dream- there never was an aquarium.
Mrs Head is looking at me disapprovingly and shaking her head. I keep saying out loud, “I wiped out half of the girls’ pets in one afternoon.” Mrs Head is wondering why the powers-that-be entrust me with the safety of 506 children at work.
I carry the aquarium to the rubbish bin on the pavement outside our flat. Across the street I imagine St Francis is watching me. He strokes the neck of a wolf sat calmly by his side. I call out to him that it was an accident. He calls back, “Talk to the hand, the face ain’t listening.” I think I catch a glimpse of Bubbles and Vanilla’s ghostly bodies in the wolf’s jaws.
I text the girls: GOOD NEWS IS THE CATS ARE FINE…
Keep the Faith,