Thursday, 5 July 2007

Pond life

"Mum, when we move house, can we take the pond with us?" my son asked a few weeks ago.

I can see why he wants to. We've spent a lot of time crouching at the edge of that pond over the last few months, gazing into the murky water and charting the progress of the jelly frogspawn lumps as they become tadpoles, and then fattening them up with dried cat food (a fiercely fought-over job it's been, getting to chuck in the cat food and watch the sleek black taddies swarming all over it). Now the water is teeming with tiny baby froglets, and we have all oohed and aahed at their cuteness as they try to scramble up the side of the pond and into the big wide world. Youngest daughter has put herself in charge of froglet welfare and has had some stern words with the cat whenever she comes padding over for a look at the new babies. And while the pond itself is titchy - barely deserving of the word 'pond' being ooh, all of two feet in diameter - I sense that digging it up and transporting it, plants, froglets, water snails and all is not a goer.

(My most embarrassing moment during the trying-to-sell-our-house period came when a family from Devon arrived to look round the house. I was chatting to the parents in the kitchen and noticed their son (aged 8 or so) looked a bit bored and was scuffing his foot up and down the floor. "Do you want to go outside to see the pond?" I asked. "There's loads of frogspawn in it."
He shrugged, not seeming interested. "We had loads of it in one of our ponds," he said dismissively.
"Yes, till the heron got it all!" his mum put in.
I was really glad then that he hadn't wanted to go out and look. If they had more than one pond AND a heron to boast of, then all of a sudden I didn't want them to see our titchy twenty-foot garden and puddle of a pond. Still, it's always been good enough for us...)

Anyway, so no, we won't we be taking the pond with us. We will definitely be digging one in to our new garden, when we get there, though. I'm looking forward to it already...

9 comments:

Caroline said...

Funny how children hold onto little things. You must never delete this blog. These memories are precious!

x

Lucy Diamond said...

It's funny too how being an adult and experiencing these things vicariously is almost as delightful!
Suddenly I'm wondering if taking the pond IS possible...

NoviceNovelist said...

It's lovely having a pond isn't it Lucy? Ours is only little but when it sprung a leak and a heron did eat 3 of our much loved gold fish I was quite heart broken - my lovely father in law is going to come and dig us a new one and I am very excited - I've missed the frogs and fish this summer (I use that word 'summer' very tongue in cheek here!!! - blowing a gale and very cold here!!) The upside for you is that you have a family project to look forward to when you move!!!

ChrisH said...

This reminds me of an article about children's description of frogspawn - called, rather wonderfully, frogsborn and frogsporn!

Thanks for the comments about the agent - quite suprised I phoned her, two reasons, I think 1. desperate 2. clutching at straws still, fingers crossed, it was worth it.

Lucy Diamond said...

Yes, NN, ponds are fab. It's there on my to-do list already!

Hi Chris, I love frogsborn - brilliantly accurate! (not so sure about frogsporn though...not something I'd like to see!)

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

We get frogsporn in our pond for a couple of days every spring. From the house it looks as if the water is boiling. And those frogs can teach us humans a few things about group, er, activities (I'm sure you know what I mean - am being euphemistic to avoid attracting dodgy Google surfers!). I didn't know it was called 'frogsporn' till today, though. Shall save that one up to amuse Top Bloke with next year.

dulwichmum said...

I love the idea of a pond and think I shall organise to have one installed with the sole intention of cultivating "frogsborn".

Working Mum said...

We don't have a pond, but benefit greatly from the next door neighbours'. The toads come and cool themselves under the rocks at the bottom of our garden and my son, Nathan, gets soooooo excited when we lift up the stones to show them to him. I've just been catching up with your blog. It's good to have you back. I really identify too with what you said about attachment to the house. All three of my children have started their lives here and I really don't know how I'm ever gonna be able to move! x

gaelikaa said...

Make a new pond or some alternative arrangement at your new place. He'll learn that life goes on....