My children are thoroughly loving this spring weather.
Out behind our house, there’s a large puddle (i.e. “the duck pond”) from the water that constantly runs down from the hill. Our duck enjoys the regular supply of water, and the frogs and toads used to enjoy it as well. These days the little guys don’t make it long enough to cool their toes in the water. (Roger just commented on how fat the duck is right now.)
For the last few years, the puddle has been a great science lesson – we’ve seen the whole reproduction process taking place before our eyes. Last year we got a great little video clip of our oldest three capturing many frogs in a blue bucket – all in little stacks of two. Except for the one lonely little frog who was trying desperately to get out… The rest seemed pretty content in captivity.
It was also last year that Wesley completely grossed me out by filling a bucket with strings and strings of slimy toad eggs in a bucket and carrying them up to our deck to show me. (Toads lay their eggs in strings and frogs lay their eggs in clusters.) He had his sweet little-boy hands in that bucket running his his fingers through that slimy grossness. I’m trying to think of an analogy for toad eggs – my best shot is: being sick and throwing up really snotty, mucusy vomit. Roger says it’s more like throwing up tapeworms. Either way it’s pretty gross, and that’s what my Wesley was playing with.
That was a pretty putrid tangent. Sorry.
The main point today doesn’t really have anything to do with the frogs that used to grow in that puddle of water. This afternoon, since the boys (and Malin) couldn’t find frogs in the puddle, they decided to bring some in. They found some somewhere and dumped them in the water – of course they were gone not long after.
Then this evening, just before bedtime, our family went down to visit Eldon and Ella June for awhile. I guess on the way down, they found a little tree frog. So Judah ran up to camp and got a Cool Whip container, poked holes in the lid, and put a little water and a nice-sized rock in it and brought it down. Wesley and Malin had gotten to Eldon and Ella June’s house before we did, and they had carried the frog inside and were proudly showing it off to our kind hosts. Neither Eldon nor Ella June seemed to have any problem with having the frog inside the house, so… once Judah brought the container in, and it was secure under the lid, I decided not to worry about it either.
I probably should have. It’s practically inevitable that the frog would escape. It was getting to be time for us to go when I saw Judah peeking his head through the banisters and looking around on the top of the piano. When he saw me looking at him, he smiled and made a goofy face at me. Then he came down the stairs and told me very quietly that the frog had gotten out. I encouraged him to go back and keep looking. Surely it hadn’t gotten too far. I was hoping to keep this quiet and not let Eldon and Ella June know anything until (unless) it was absolutely neccessary.
They looked a little while longer, and then Malin walked over to Ella June and asked her very earnestly, “Ella June, have you seen the frog?” Ella June said (so innocently) “Yes, I saw it. You showed it to me.” Malin asked, “No, do you know where it is now?” Ella June (again… innocently) “Yes, they put it in that container.” And then Malin made the big announcement.
I couldn’t gauge Ella June’s reaction. Was it horror or humor when she asked, “How do you think I’m going to be able to sleep tonight with a frog in my house?!”
They very kindly let us know that it was just fine if we didn’t find the frog. I didn’t want to take them up on that offer, but… it happened. We searched for the frog, but we had to leave without it. It was a tiny thing, and brown. Everything in their house in brown.
Eldon is pretty sure that it won’t smell as bad as a dead mouse.
I’m pretty sure that my children won’t be taking live creatures into anyone’s house again.
The frog is pretty sure that he was treated with injustice.