British citizens are mourning the loss of a beloved figure. But this figure is not a writer, actor, or even a member of royalty – it is Benson, the 64-pound carp.
Intrigued are you? I was too when I heard the first few sentences of the story on National Public Radio on my way home from work yesterday. It’s amazing how those stories can hook you – every pun intended.
For nearly 25 years, Benson the carp, who was a girl fish by the way, swam the waters of a lake in Cambridgeshire, England. Carp can easily live to be twice that age, but her daily life took its toll on her, especially when she is said to have been caught and released at least 60 times.
And each time she was caught and released, her legend grew and grew, just as she did in weight and size. To catch a glimpse of the huge gold fish was an amazing experience, but to be one of the few dozen who would catch her during her short life was actually a monumental feat, one to be boasted about, with pictures in tow, for many years to come. I’m sure we’ll be seeing some of those photos floating around all over the internet very soon.
Much like old Nessie in Scotland (although there’s proof that Benson was real), Benson was said to have gained celebrity status, and was even voted Britain’s Favorite Carp in 2005 by Angler’s Mail. Quite an accomplishment for a fish I would say.
And, since her passing, her celebrity status has grown even more and the mythology around her has taken a life of its own. People are telling tales of how she died, why she died, as well as her age, weight, and astrological sign. No one really knows for sure until the autopsy results are complete.
But, one thing is for sure, Benson is now in deep freeze awaiting mounting where she will live in eternity on someone’s wall. She will be sorely missed by Cambridgeshire locals and tourists alike. Farewell Benson. Your catch and release days are finally over.