There's a pond of about ten acres a block from my house. It is surrounded by large trees and larger school buildings. It spills into a lower, smaller pond and from there into a sluggish waterway known as the Cooper River.
This pond can't win for losing.
A few years ago, someone released a full-sized cayman into the pond. Animal Control refused to believe the reports until the ducks started disappearing. Then AC put out a dragnet for the cayman and failed to find it. It may still be in the murky depths, waiting for more ducks.
But I don't think so, because more recently the pond suffered a massive influx of raw sewage when the ancient pipes of Snobville burst. The entire pond area was cordoned off for months while the locals struggled to clean things up.
The pond's fortunes seemed to be reversing somewhat this summer, when out of the blue some kind of funding came through that put aerators into the water in well-regulated intervals.
But alas, this afternoon the poor little pond got more grief. The police started creeping past my house at about 5:30, followed quickly thereafter by one of those very loud helicopters that hovered right overhead, just above the trees. The evening news revealed that a corpse had been found in the shallow section.
The Monkey Man grew up right next to this poor little pond, and he can remember a time when kids swam in it during the summer months and skated on it during the winter months. I've never known it to be in that natural state.
It's hard out there for an urban pond. Don't get me wrong, I'm not cold-hearted. I care about people. But to me, a pond is more alive than a person. It's an aggregate of a thousand kinds of life. Except for my poor little pond, which is visited far too often by the grim vestiges of death.