Of Frogs and Men

If you have a repugnance to short-bodied, tailless amphibians, stop reading now because this is not going to be pretty! Also, if your favorite fairy tale is the “Frog Prince”, reading on might cause a traumatic experience that I don’t want to be hold responsible for. So move away from this while you can! For all the rest of you, especially the ones who like a slimy story: You are going to love this! It’s the classic theme of survival of the fittest, it’s the classic story of frogs and men.

It all started one sunny day in May. After two weeks in the States and two weeks of suffering through winterly temperatures, every sign of spring, sun and warmer climate was welcome. So when I looked at the army of tadpoles in the pool, I saw sunny days and warm summer nights spent outside to the soft croaking of frogs. What I failed to see in this romantic midsummer night’s dream was the green horror that was about to unveil its warty face to us. To be fair, Sam warned me. He had been through this before and he knew what was awaiting us. But kill all the tadpoles? That seemed far too cruel! So the tadpoles stayed. Until one lovely night, about one month later, there it was: the first croak. Needless to say that Sam went ballistic and set out to get the frog but it was just so beautiful. The pleasant breeze, the candles, the one croaking frog. So the frog stayed. So did the next four. And then the next three. I have never had frogs before in my backyard so I still found it charming to listen to the frogs’ “conversation” and trying to imagine the exciting things that must go on in a frog’s life. Until one night when we were trying to watch a movie outside and the incredible volume of the frog pool party became unbearable. This was it! Sam had had enough and was not willing to listen to any of my fromantic arguments any more, he was going to get these frogs out of our pool! Armed with a pool skimmer, Supersam went on a mission. He threw over 10 frogs over the fence – with little to no effect. The croaking seemed even louder than before (maybe the frogs he threw over the fence were desperately trying to get the attention of their pool buddies…). From this point on, every night outside became an ordeal. We couldn’t talk, nor just sit their quietly because quiet just doesn’t exist any more with roughly 50 frogs in your pool. 50 and counting, as these little slimy amphibians shamelessly multiplied right in front of our eyes. I had learned my lessen, now we had to do something about IT. So here we were again, Supersam and me, fishing for frogs. While Sam caught them, I was supposed to hold the plastic frog prison bag. However, have you ever hold a bag with one or two living frogs inside? They move. And struggle. And jump. And squirm. And croak. I just couldn’t take it. I threw the bag as far away as I could and as IT started hopping towards the pool, I grabbed a fin (don’t even ask where it came from!) and threw it on top of the bag to stop the frogs from escaping. Now, if you are the biggest animal lover in the world, I have probably committed a horrible crime. But if you are just a city girl like me, not used to nature and wildlife, I think I acted perfectly reasonable. And as it turned out, I didn’t kill any of the frogs. But we had to abandon our mission. For the night. But we were determined to finish what we had started. It was either us or the frogs!
Yesterday was the night. This time, I was fishing for the croaking creatures while Sam stuffed them in a big juice bottle (please note that we recycle very creatively!). With this technique we were actually able to catch about 13 frogs! The silence around the pool was stunning. The noise inside the juice bottle on the other hand rather disturbing. So we decided to take them as far away from the pool as possible. After driving for 30 minutes (feeling like a criminal trying to get rid of compromising evidence), we found the perfect spot. Next to somebody’s house that looked like it could have a pool or a pond. Okay, I admit, we were just tired of driving around with 13 frogs frogs in a juice bottle and just chose the next best spot. I am not sure if the owners woke up to the sound of desperately croaking frogs or if the frogs started their odyssey back to our pool (What do frogs do anyway? Do they stick together as a team? Is it every frog for himself?) but honestly, I don’t care. For now at least the backyard at night is exactly how it’s supposed to be: moonlit, pleasant and frogless!

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