The sad, sad saga of a garden pond and its 2000 visitors

This is the next episode of the sad, sad tale of my garden pond. When you left this story – the few hapless fish I had left, gasping for air at the bottom of my leaking empty pond, were now happily living in our bath.

One of the fish has gone slightly mad from the shift to his new accommodation and dashes so fast from one end of the bath that he backflips off the smooth bath end and hurtles towards the other end of the bath for the next back flip. He just keeps hurtling and back flipping like he thinks he’s a seal doing tricks.

My pond went back to the seller, a very nice seller called Limberlost Nursery – where they happily offered to reseal my pond. This took some time.

But as a belated Christmas present the pond returned and I built Pond Mark VI.

I made sure to spend time and sweat and swearing getting the base even by putting down pavers. Finally I put the pond on its stand of concrete blocks and filled it with water and then I left it to test for leaks. A couple of days later the pond was still filled with water.

Success.

But it was also filled with I would say give or take, 2000 Green Tree Frog tadpoles.

Now I love Green Tree Frogs. They are native. They are indigenous. They are endangered. When I see them I feel all gooey like watching an ad with babies and nappies all in soft focus.

I work with an elderly lady, named Ethel, one of the sweetest old ladies I know, she’s had a really rough life and is tough as nails and she is afraid of nothing other than being absolutely petrified of Green Tree Frogs.

One day I saw Ethel pull an apron off a hook and a green tree frog jumped out of the apron and splayed itself across Ethel’s face. Ethel screamed, so the frog, frightened by the racket, clung onto her face even tighter.

All you could see of Ethel was her huge brown frightened eyes; the rest of her face was covered by the poor scared frog clinging on for dear life.

They were both saved when I carefully pulled the trembling frog off her face and carried it outside.

I am thrilled the frogs have invaded my pond. I rang up Frog Safe and got friendly advice on how to look after them. I got Paw Paw leaves and put them in the food  processor and mushed them up and froze them to feed to my 2000 babies.

But because we live in a dengue area it is illegal to have a body of water without fish to eat the mosquito wrigglers. So I put one of our fish into the pond and it immediately started gobbling up tadpoles.  It only stopped to give me a big smile and thank me for taking it to Fish Smorgasbord.

I had to stop this senseless slaughter – so out it came and back into the bath.

So I painstakingly researched Australian fish that don’t eat frog tadpoles and purchased the recommended Pacific Blue Fish and Deep Water Creek Rainbow Fish and introduced them to the pond and my frog family. I watched for half an hour and the fish showed no interest in the tadpoles.

Success.

I was pretty happy about this and excited because some of the tadpoles are nearly frogs. I went to bed a satisfied woman – all my empty nesting urges sated.

The next morning I went out to check on my tadpoles.

But the pond is empty of tadpoles and all that remains are 16 very fat fish that have all signed up for weight watchers.

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