A Lesson in Unexpected Consequences

A Lesson in Unexpected Consequences

It's easy to blame someone else for a number of life's challenges - poverty, rapidly changing climate, the potential loss of chocolate as a commodity - but I was recently reminded it is not always a deliberate action that generates the issues.

I was getting ready to change the water in a little 5-gallon tank that hosts my cat Margaret's goldfish, Laverne. There used to be two goldfish but when Shirley died, Laverne made it clear the fish tank was hers and hers alone. Two small goldfish I tried to introduce were relegated to the outside pond after Laverne made it clear they were not welcome.

As I was getting ready to clean the tank, I remembered I had hornwort growing in the outside pond. It's a treat for goldfish so I pulled a wad out and added it to the aquarium tank.

 Hornwort grows in my little pond at Bluebird Gardens among the water lilies.

Hornwort grows in my little pond at Bluebird Gardens among the water lilies.

What I didn't realize was that the hornwort, floating on top of the pond surface, was also doing double duty.

 Hornwort floats on top of the water surface in both my pond and aquarium.

Hornwort floats on top of the water surface in both my pond and aquarium.

After getting sidetracked from the tank cleaning, I returned to move the tank to the kitchen, only to find Laverne was now hosting dozens of tadpoles.

I had not intended to bring those frogs inside but there they were, hanging from the top of the tank greenery.

 Meet Laverne, my cat Margaret's pet goldfish, now living with several unexpected visitors.

Meet Laverne, my cat Margaret's pet goldfish, now living with several unexpected visitors.

Now I can't clean out the tank. I have to decide whether to take it outside and return the tadpoles to their original pond or let them grow inside until they are big enough to release.

My inclination is to fish Laverne out of the tank and to empty the water, tadpoles and all, back into the original pond. I keep sorting through the consequences of doing that. I may not have considered that when I first fished the hornwort out the pond but I am more sensitive to better thinking things through before I do something.

Another life lesson from my garden.

Charlotte