12 August 2014

Why you might want to have an eel in your well

A 155-year-old eel living in a Swedish well has died.
"My family bought the cottage in 1962, and we always knew the housepet was included," Mr Kjellman said.
Before public water systems were developed in the 1960s, it was common practice to drop eels in to household wells to get rid of flies and bugs.

"Eels normally only live to be seven years old, they usually get so fat and their intestinal canals stop working. But this one just lived and lived and lived,” said Mr Kjellman...

Åle became something of a celebrity during his decades at the bottom of the well, featuring in numerous Swedish books and TV programmes. 
For some of my years in Kentucky I lived in a semi-rural location with the home's water provided by a cistern rather than a well.  The cistern was recharged by runoff from the roof of an outbuilding.  Because I was not meticulous in cleaning the gutters of leaves and other organic debris, various insect larvae would get washed down the downspout into the cistern and eventually appear in my tapwater.

I should have kept an eel in the cistern.

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