Carp for the Wehrmacht
A Storyby Ota Pavel
At the beginning of the occupation they confiscated Papa’s pond in Bustehrad.
“How can a Jew breed carp?” the mayor asked.
Papa had loved the lower Bustehrad pond for a long time, as a man loves a young woman (now and then, he had loved young women, too!), even though it did not show itself off like so many ponds in southern Bohemia. No steam rose from it, no reeds flapped in the breeze and no gulls shrieked, but it was decent enough for a pond in the middle of town, with a brewery on one side, poplars on the other, and houses and cottages scattered here and there.
Papa had drifted on the pond in a washtub in his boyhood; his father had also manned a washtub on it, as had his grandfather and great-grandfather, too. It was a matter of blood, Papa’s link to that pond. It helped, too, that the carp were delicious.