Austin’s giant koi pond was one of the more popular spots on the water garden tour. Cars and people stacked up to the point where passersby with no knowledge or interest in water gardens were stopping by to check out the commotion. Soon enough all were oohing and aahing about the amazing ponds with spectacular specimens of koi that Austin had built next to his deck.

For hours Austin explained the finer points of koi pond logistics. Feeding them carotene will help them to maintain a nice red color. But too much will turn their white spots pink. Someone joked that blueberries would turn their brown eyes blue, which didn’t amuse Austin. He was very serious about raising koi, which is possibly why he was still single.

But things were about to change when she showed up. All of a sudden Austin blocked out all the other people and was just talking to her about his grand pond. He told her about his annual trip to Japan to look for the latest and the best koi. His favorite so far was an artistic white and black fish, Shiro Utsuri, which he had bought for $1,500.00. That much? Wow. And did she know there was once a famous koi in Japan that lived for 226 years? She was impressed.

She casually inquired how Austin kept the koi alive through the winter. Where did he store them and how? This was a lot of stuff. It was obvious that he needed a large space for the filtration system. Not to mention the food and what not.

Austin hesitated. Then he admitted that people were no longer allowed inside his house over the winter because he had ponds taking up the entire basement. That’s not so bad, she told him. Then Austin added that the spare bedroom was another winter destination for koi accessories. Still, she didn’t think that was too bad. Well, actually, it was his whole entire living room and dining room, and he only had a small space in the kitchen and his bedroom for human occupation.

Why would someone want to give up their house to fish in the winter? Had he never considered getting a Sherman Pole Building for his koi? Surely by now he realized the koi needed their own winter home. For a moment, he seemed about to argue against that. But the wheels were turning in his head. He realized that he wouldn’t let this fine species of woman swim out of his life without at least exploring the idea. Hmmm. A Sherman Pole Building. An excellent idea. He smiled. Could they meet and discuss this further?