So apparently we haven't been kicked hard enough the last few months, and winter felt the need to add more agony.
One of the dark fish died. This is two of the adult goldfish which we weren't able to retrieve from the pond when we were bringing fish inside, and which vanished into the mud even when we had drained the pond to a couple inches. We just had to trust that they would winter over in a pond that's really not deep enough for it, and that would require that we have a relatively gentle winter, and you know what this winter has been like in the United States. I'm not positive it's been above freezing in Lansing this entire calendar year.
I found it embedded in the ice, when I went out to sweep snow off the frozen pond. It's important to sweep the snow off so as to let light into what plant life survives underneath, and so the hibernating fish have a bit of food available, and there it was, on its side, beautiful but gone.
I used a pot of boiling water and a chisel and chipped and melted it out of the ice, and tucked it into a plastic bag to put into the freezer so that when the ground melts we can bury it, and tried not to think about how that whole process sounds like some kind of sick joke. And thought about how to tell bunny_hugger; she was, I guess, mercifully in school so didn't see the dead fish herself, but that still meant I had to tell her something which would make her miserable, and I did, but, I hate being made to do that.
If there's any good to come from this it's that now that I know that at least one of the dark fish survived the emptying and refilling of the pond, despite it all, and since we haven't seen the other's body it's possible that it will make it to the spring thaw. If we could get a gentler second half to the winter.
Trivia: In the early 1930s Sears, Roebuck began losing a million dollars or more a year to forged checks written in Breathitt County, Kentucky; at least one forger signed his name ``E. Normous Wealth''. Source: The Lie Detectors: The History Of An American Obsession, Ken Alder.
Currently Reading: Ingenious Pursuits: Building The Scientific Revolution, Lisa Jardine.