My memoir

The Struggles of Building a Fish Pond

By Elah Fletcher


Do you have a pond in your backyard, and if you do, do you remember building it?  I do.  I originally asked my mom for a fish tank in my room because fish tanks are very pretty and fun to decorate and take care of. It is really fun to watch the fish swim around. “Elah, the size of the fish tank you want is way too expensive and who is the one who will end up taking care of it?” said my mom.


“What about a pond in the backyard?” I asked. They said yes, assuming I wasn’t going to follow through with it. Surprise to them—I did! 


I began by making a design of the pond with a waterfall. I loosely measured out a plot and began digging. Very quickly, my dad thought that this was going to be impossible because there were so many gnarled roots, tangled electrical wires, plumbing and stuff!  My dad said, “You need adult strength to cut these logs”, but I helped anyway.


We used shovels to continue to dig. The soil was very hard to dig up. It was very frustrating. It was also frustrating working with my dad sometimes.  He is such a perfectionist!  


Eventually, after enough soil was removed, we put in a “tarpy thingy” so the water wouldn’t seep into the dirt. Then we placed rocks on the bottom of the hole and over the tarp. We found the rocks from the creek behind my house, and we had to carry them over to the pond. 

Next we had to install the waterfall by taking a filter and attaching a hose to it. I placed the waterfall in some larger rocks. Now was the time to add dechlorinated water. This is important because the fish would die in our chlorinated water. We then went to PetSmart and found 3 vibrant goldfish. I acclimated them by sticking the bag into the water of the pond, so their water and the pond’s water were the same temperature, and the fish didn’t get shocked.


When we finished, we had a beautiful, textured, natural-looking pond.  The waterfall gently flowed off the rocks with a calming trickling sound and the fish curiously swam around, investigating their new home.  I was filled with a feeling of proudness that my dad and I were able to build such a cool pond together. I learned that you need to work hard to get a good result.

In the end, I was allowed to get a fish tank too, and I take care of it all by myself!

Why did you choose this topic to write about? I wrote about this topic because 

Building a pond was really fun 

How did that particular topic change or influence you as a person? Building a pond made me realize that  making stuff that looks easy to make isn’t always easy
What lesson can the reader learn from your memoir?


One thought on “My memoir

  1. Dear Elah,

    I can attest that your pond is absolutely amazing! It still amazes me that you were able to go through the whole process, from sketching and planning, to digging and decorating. Your creativity and passion are incredible.
    Do you have any pictures of your pond that you could add so we can see what it looks like?

    One thing I’m wondering is, what did you do with the fish in the winter? Did they survive?

    Thanks for sharing this great story.

    Mrs. Thompson

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