My office window overlooks a money pit--better known as an in-ground pool, which was here when we bought the house. For nine months of the year, the money pit is covered by a big black tarp. It's ugly. When it's covered, you know that summer is over and won't come again for a LONG-LONG-TIME! But when the money pit is uncovered, it's lovely. And we pretend we're rich. (Remember the Ce-Ment Pond on the Beverly Hillbillies?)
The money pit consumes not only $$$ -- it guzzles chemicals (although we use Bacqucil instead of chlorine--less harsh, better for your skin--that is if we would only swim in it. We aren't swimmers. We haven't gone swimming in YEARS, and then we'd just float in these big tubes).
The money pit could also be called a pool of death. Hapless creatures are always losing their lives in it. I must confess, I'm not a bit saddened when mice drown. Contrary to Disney cartoons, they are NOT cute and loveable animals--especially when they show up in your kitchen or pantry munching on Peek-Freen biscuits from Canada. However, I do feel bad when baby birds, squirrels, chipmunks, and toads drown.
Quite often my neck aches during the summer. Why? Because I seem to be checking the pool every couple of minutes, whipping my head to the left. If the surface is disturbed--chances are something is clinging to life and I need to dash out, grab the skimmer and try to save it. We had two really bad experiences with ducks. The first time, my husband was home alone when Mama Duck decided the pool would be a great place to take her babies. The problem is--Mom could get out, the ducklings couldn't. My husband chased the ducklings for a couple of hours, while Mama screamed from the side of the pool telling her kids to "get away from that man with the skimmer!" The death toll that day was eight ducklings.
I remember being very angry with my husband for not saving one of those ducklings.
And then it happened to me. Same scenario--two of us chasing the ducklings back and forth for hours. The problem is they get tired and cold and stop swimming after a while. You can then, FINALLY, fish them out, put them in the grass and hope they survive. This time, we managed to save three of the ducklings. Mama sat by them until they revived, and then led them back into the farm behind our house, without a backward glace to her five dead kids.
It seems like I rescue the same couple of toads every other day. They're dim bulbs, too. They don't realize you're trying to save them and either dive for the bottom (8 feet deep) or leap out of the skimmer (which is attached to a 10 foot pole, so it's kind of hard to maneuver). A couple have leapt off the skimmer straight onto the concrete deck--they appear to survive, but who knows what happens to them once they hop back into the garden jungle.
I am NOT a fan of toads. They're ugly, they make an unpleasant sound in the early spring, but they're good for eating the bugs in the garden, and I'll always try to save them if they're drowning. It's the right thing to do.