Soma alerted me to the demise of one of the catfish living in the Swan Boat Lake.

This was a 30″ long catfish. I have seen them 36″ and larger (like 1 meter). When Soma saw it baby snapping turtles were eating away at it, but I missed that nectar. When I went back later it was gone, either eaten completely or removed by some considerate devotee concerned about guests who don’t appreciate morbid things.

“The example given here is that water is a very nice place for a fish, but the fish is never free from anxiety about death, since big fish are always eager to eat the small fish. phalgüni tatra mahatäm: all living entities are eaten by bigger living entities. This is the way of material nature.

“ahastäni sahastänäm
apadäni catuñ-padäm
phalgüni tatra mahatäà
jévo jévasya jévanam

” ‘Those who are devoid of hands are prey for those who have hands; those devoid of legs are prey for the four-legged. The weak are the subsistence of the strong, and the general rule holds that one living being is food for another.’ (SB 1.13.47)

“The Supreme Personality of Godhead has created the material world in such a way that one living entity is food for another. Thus there is a struggle for existence, but although we speak of survival of the fittest, no one can escape death without becoming a devotee of the Lord. Harim vina naiva srtim taranti: one cannot escape the cycle of birth and death without becoming a devotee. This is also confirmed in Bhagavad-gita (9.3). Aprapya mam nivartante mrtyu-samsara-vartmani. One who does not attain shelter at the lotus feet of Krsna must certainly wander up and down within the cycle of birth and death.”

SB 9.13.10

Anyway, don’t worry, there are plenty more fish in the lake.

If you were to take a loaf of bread to the chatra by the lake and rip small pieces to drop into the water, you will almost immediately see hundreds of bluegills snapping it up. If you pay attention, you will occasionally see a bass swim up also, and sometimes the catfish come by.

On Sundays at the day old bread place in Wheeling, you can get a bag of about 6-8 loaves of bread for $1. Last Sunday Vidya and I, with the help of a small boy visiting with his parents, fed the whole thing to the fish. It did take that many loaves before they were all satisfied. A cheap and fascinating thing to do.

I had a granola bar that I bought that when I read the ingredients had eggs in it and I tried to feed them that, but they spit it out. Either it was too hard to suck in or they were devotee fish and don’t eat eggs.

Advertisement