Note: The following was originally posted on June 26, 2009. No names have been changed to protect the innocent, because there was no innocence to be had in this butchering.
I received this weekend, as a well-intentioned gift for our garden, a bucket of dead fish, courtesy of my sister, Sara, and her burgeoning brood, Nathanael and Cassidy. The fish were intended to be planted. No, dear reader, not to grow more fish as I initially mistook, but to be buried as fertilizer to assist in the abundant growth of our vegetation, a tradition, my elder sister assured me, dating back to the American Indians. As a history major (and apparent good student, though details remain sketchy), I took her at her word.
In advance of this new gardening task, as I was not familiar with theproper way to prepare and bury dead fish in the ground, I placed the offering, bucket and all, into our chest freezer for a later date. With Tuesday’s rain washing out the sporting contest I was scheduled to cover, I seized the opportunity to plant my fish, but first, like any good journalist, or gardener, or responsible home, pet, car, and child owner should always do, I turned to the Internet for research. My findings were shocking.
Like a latter-day soothsayer bewaring me the Ides of March, the Internet showed me a sinister world where fish are not our friends, or mere morsels of delicacy or even fertilizer, but rather a race poised to attack us at our weakest moment, when we least expect it. Long have we known of gilled creatures that prey on human flesh, but until now, these attacks have occured mainly in maritime settings. However, led by fiends the likes of which many of us can hardly imagine, the day is coming when fish will take to the land and reap their revenge upon us. In this hour, it will be every man and his family for themselves. All the more reason to plant your garden now and await the coming apocalypse. Therefore, I took this as an opportunity to prepare.
I retired to the yard with my bucket of frozen captives, an axe, my children armed with the camera, and our morbidly obese beagle to prepare the carcasses for internment in our yard. I will save the more faint of heart in the crowd the specifics, other than to note that within 10 minutes, my bucket was filled again with an assortment of thawing fish hunks. Holes were dug around a foot deep in three separate areas of the garden. Fish parts were tumbled in and covered over with soft, packed Earth. Each spot was marked with a pile of rocks. While I toiled, the obese beagle scoured the grass for any overlooked remnants of the axe-wielding carnage that I wrought. I would like to say that I took no pleasure in this gruesome task, but that would not be truthful. You see, these desiccated interlopers from the sea have more than one purpose. As fertilizer for our garden, yes, but also to serve as a warning for the future invading hordes:
Abandon hope, all ye fish monsters who enter.
With this task complete, I must now go bathe said morbidly obese, and smelling awfully of fish, beagle.
NOTE: Over two years have passed, and Northern Indiana has not had a single recorded incident of dryland fish army attacks in that time. I do not consider this a coincidence.