Fishing Lines: All's not well that ends well

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The Independent Online
THANKS to my springer spaniels playing Mole, a second well has suddenly appeared in the garden. In these times of water shortages, this may seem a find akin to a Cup Final ticket in your cornflake packet. But I fear it may prove a mixed blessing.

It's hard to tell just how big the well is. The dogs, unwisely left alone in the garden all day and in a mischievous mood, excavated a hole about 2ft square, uncovering some ancient bricks and a deeper hole. I dropped a stone down and started to count. There was a plop before I finished two. This underground serendipity means I could create a unique garden feature. My wife claims this is merely a synonym for a bigger and deeper pond containing fish large enough to frighten the children.

To take full advantage of this infallible water source, the present pond may need to be repositioned. Larger fish would probably show it to better advantage. But I have no plans to allow fishing, though I'm told trout can bring in a useful income.

Anyway, it's all wishful thinking so far. My wife says one well is enough, that we already have the best crop of mosquitoes outside the Everglades, and that uncovering the old well just gives them somewhere else to flourish. I think it's vital for anglers to study entomology. What better way than with a thriving insect population on your very doorstep?

The children are horrified that our new well is in the middle of the lawn, making races and tennis hazardous. Asked to choose between water lilies, pet fish and a featureless chunk of grass, they chose the last. No barbies for them at Christmas.

The dogs aren't helping. They are eager to finish what they started, and have already widened the hole during one nocturnal expedition. Unfortunately for them, I caught them loping back to their kennels with that guilty look that says: 'We've been up to no good.' Now the hole is taped around, like the scene of a crime.

The youngsters whom I take fishing are all for helping with the excavations, but their tree-hugging parents are already assuming we will be applying to have the well listed as being of architectural significance. If it's as ancient as the house, it could be more than 500 years old. But we're talking a fisherman's dream here.

Goodness knows what will happen when the water authority hears about it. A neighbour was warned last year for fishing during the close season - in his own back garden] So I don't hold out much hope, with all this talk of water-metering, that Anglian Water will let me keep my own private car-wash and garden irrigation system. The Sprinkler Control van has already been round once this week. They're sure to claim it's their water.

In Arabia, I would now be able to buy several more wives and camels. In East Anglia, all I've bought is trouble. I'd fill the bloody thing in if I didn't think the dogs would dig it all back out.

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