As a kid I spent most of my days playing in my back yard. “Always in the dirt with your animals,” my older sister easily remembers. I was an outdoors kind of kid. That’s where I loved to be... outside with my animals. I had my share of pets growing up. And my share of memories to go along with each of them.
Sometimes, the special things of childhood seep into our adult lives. They do for me at least. As an adult, I still have my share of pets, including two colorful koi in my back yard.
They are survivors. Most animals are, I suppose. They are the last survivors of a predatory Cooper’s hawk stalking our neighborhood―the consequences for living near a creek, I learned.
To protect them, we kept the tank covered with dark screens for the past few months. We didn’t want to chance another loss.
On occasion when the Texas sun is not so angry, I pull the screens off and sit beside them on a bench. Something about them fills me with peace. Maybe it’s the way they swim and move about beneath the water, the sound of the water, or the clear sight of the rocks below. Maybe all of it reminds me of faraway places in my memories.
Koi are beautiful to watch.
As I sat beside them, I noticed they were not alone. In the months spent protected from predators and visitors, they produced life.
There were three others in the tank. Three tiny new members of our little koi family.
Out of hundreds, maybe thousands of eggs, three little lives survived. They are, like their parents, survivors.
Most of us are, I suppose.
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