Vt In one of our daily
Vt In one of our daily . rapers recently that the carp M the pools at the imperial Palm:' in Toy/co were " jumping mad bemuse the I/ ;
,.urry inside the Palace was so ereat that the flunkeys forgot to feed them," reminded me of a story I used to delight in as a child, of how my father (a keen fisherman and one with a vast knowledge of. and in(erest in, the private lives of the fish for which he angled) once spent a happy half-hour flipping pellets of bread soaked in brandy In ,sonic carp in the ornamental pond of a Budapest hotel. The fish rose to his bait. swallowed it greedily and rose again for more. Presently they began leaping oaf of the water in drunken exuberance, exciting the attention of astonished guests and flustered waiters who were quite unable to deal with the situation. Nobody suspected the bland-looking Englishman who sat near to the pool and seemed such an innocent and interested spectator.
YEARS later I was lo see (or rather to hear) for myself the .streagth and vigour of a lullgrown carp, for in Germany (where carp and cream saute used It, be the traditional New Year's Eve dish), I once met the carp that was being delivered for that evening's meal. It came in a moss-filled container so that it might be plunged while still ape into the boiling water that the cook had ready for it. The cook offered to let me watch while she grappled with the creature. but at the risk of offending her professional dignity I excused myself and said that I would prefer to watch a little later while she made her celebrated sauce. The carp, when it finally came to the table, was LI gastronomical delight that I have never forgotten, and one that I have not met with in any
• other country.
Although the carp was introduced boo England over four hundred years ago we never seem to have gone in for breeding this fish as they have done cm the Continent. where carp ponds used to be valuable assets and where an enormous number of them were bred each year, for the carp .is a long-lived creature—fifty years is a good average age—and their powers of reproduction are quite astonishing.