My best mate Duncan and I spent many an hour collecting frog spawn from local ponds and transferring it to our pond at home, ponds were a great source of amusement in the 1970’s when the only thing on telly was the test card or football results. The endless fascination of watching dragonfly nymphs eat tadpoles, or searching for the grass snake that lived in a hole in the concrete waterfall was an integral part of our childhood.
That is until Duncan discovered science, more importantly surface tension – you know that thing that allows water boatmen and water skaters to hop around the top of the water.
Anyhow, his teacher said that you could break water tension with a simple squirt of Fairy liquid, and this seemed a great way of sending the boatmen and skaters to a watery grave. We had already decided that they were all evil and our actions were therefore morally justified, so the Fairy liquid was duly poured.
We just forgot that the fountain was on.
As the foam spilled onto the lawn, it was all still pretty amusing, we both figured that the pond was a bit grubby and needed a good clean, that is until Dad roared into the garden raging about dead fish. He was exceptionally loud and our attempts to pacify him with explanations about scientific experiments fell on deaf ears. We were in his words ‘bloody vandals’.