Sunday, February 21, 2010

His Life Was Short, But He Accomplished A Lot

I had a whole bunch of photos and an entire page of scrawled notes that I was going to put together into a most excellent and hilarious post on the birth of a frog.

"We Have Frog!" it was going to be triumphantly titled.

It was crazy. One day he had a long tail, and the next day his tail was short and saucy.

Plus, he was breathing air.

He was flaunting his frogness to his tank buddy.

Then he moved into his cave.

Can you spot the frog?

So we fed him.

Now, can you spot the prey? We put fruit flies in too.

But, you guys, I have sad news. There is no easy way to say this. I came downstairs this morning and excitedly looked in the tank to see what our new friend was doing.

He was upside down on the bottom of the tank, arms and legs outstretched. It was horrible. Alex vigorously tapped on the side of the tank as if he were merely sleeping in an odd position. If you want to know how bad I feel about the poor little frog, you should notice that I didn't take a photo. That should tell you something.

I have no idea what happened to him. Did he drown? Did he choke on his cricket? Did the stress from yesterday's tank cleaning/feeding/photo shoot do him in?

Is it my fault?

Sam took it pretty hard. Jack and Quinn were more curious. Alex stepped up big time and used a slotted spoon to carry him to the toilet for his burial ceremony.

Of course, Alex then watched me decide to throw our newly purchased crickets away too, only to say, "Oh, so we're going to escalate it to mass murder, huh?"

And yeah, I feel bad about the crickets too, but it's not like I could release them into the frigid winter air and tell them to be free.

I tell ya', the first half hour of my morning was a pretty serious drag and had a high body count.

R.I.P., little guy.


  1. Those things aren't hearty pets. They kind of just die randomly. And, if the number of wild (dead) frogs I find under my furniture is any indication, it isn't just pet frogs that kick the bucket. (Plus or minus on the dead frogs hidden somewhere in my house right now: about three. I know there is a dead one in the garage that I haven't bothered to move yet.)

    Tell Alex that the crickets were short for this world no matter what happened.

    May you have better luck with the other one.

  2. Aw. Cute little guy. I think that was a leopard frog.

    Amphibians are difficult to keep as pets. I used to have them in my lab, and they can get slammed by any number of things and suddenly go belly up. They're susceptible to so many things b/c of their permeable skin. I'm sure it was NOT the photo shoot.

  3. I just can't do reptiles. All the tail and limb growing, the dying. No. I am sticking to my story and telling The Boy he is allergic. I am going to teach him to collect yarn, instead.

    Godspeed, little frog.

  4. If it would ease your pain, I could send you a Betta fish covered in ick that just. won't. die.

    Just out of morbid curiosity, did you throw away the slotted spoon the burial at sea?

  5. i can tell he was a good frog.

  6. He was a cute frog. And the crickets were going to be eaten anyway, so I wouldn't be including them in the body count. Some of them probably lived longer than they otherwise would have. Frogs do just die for no apparent reason, I've been told. Sounds like they are out of season - should be hibernating about now, not transfrogifying, so that might have something to do with it. Good luck with the other one!

  7. *sniff* This makes me so sad.

    I think its because animals can't tell us what they want and need and they can't say, 'Hey, I'm choking on a cricket antennae here can you give me the Heimlich maneuver or something?'

    Cause if they could...I know you (and I and anyone else who loves animals) would do it in a heartbeat.

    And on an interesting parallel this is one of the reasons I get upset so easily when something happens to one of my kids. They are 7 and almost 5 and neither one can verbalize when they are in pain or they feel sick or something is hurting them emotionally or physically.
    That just breaks my heart over and over again.
    Sometimes on a daily basis.

    Rest in peace sweet froggie. May you catch more crickets in froggie heaven than you could ever hope to eat.

  8. Oh, no! I seriously doubt it was your fault, hon. These things can just happen. You did a good job, getting him from tadpole to frog! Sending you lots and lots of hugs.

  9. He looked like a nice frog. Had you sprayed, fly spray near the tank? I hope you have better luck with the tadpole that is left.

  10. I'm surprised how sad I feel about a frog I didn't even know!

  11. Okay, never have I been so sad about a dead frog, but I think it's because you're so upset. Talk about a quick Circle of Life lesson for the kids.

    There's no way it was your fault. I would've said that anyway, but the commenters above have covered many good reasons for that, so I know it to be so. Look, I'm the woman whose family couldn't keep a Betta fish alive, so I think two days of frog life is impressive.

    May your other little dude make it longer.

  12. Oh I am so sorry! May your cute little frog rest in peace.

  13. Don't feel bad. When we raised tadpoles, they did well until they got lungs. Then, every. single. one. drowned. Apparently, they weren't smart enough to climb onto the rock and out of the little pool of water. I felt really bad, but what can you do? I'm not giving a frog CPR. I don't need Prince in my house. :)

  14. I know I shouldn't be laughing, totally looks like he's waving goodbye in that last shot! Doesn't it? Isn't that kind of funny? In, um, a heartbreaking sort of way?

    (Sorry about the little guy. For reals.)

  15. Okay, when you find out what caused it's death - please let me know. Not saying why.

  16. You're killing me.

    Oh, and sorry about the frog. And the crickets. (It was the mass murder line that did me in...)

  17. I can't believe you broke the web of life. You can eat those things you know.

  18. Oh! That's awful!!! The joy of a new life and reincarnation from tadpole to frog and then...whooooooomp...dead.
    Lindsey Petersen

  19. Having lost two goldfish in the past two months, I sympathize with you! It is very difficult to keep these little creatures alive! :(

  20. I mourn along with you, and after experiencing similar woes, we made it a family rule that as soon as the creature climbs up on the rock, we free him to the creek...of course you can't exactly do that in winter.

    Might I suggest a giant millipede? We have one and it is hearty and easy. Just plop a few drops of water on its leaves every few days and make sure it has some decaying fruit.

    Not very interactive, but a lovely pet all the same...

  21. growing up we used to fill a bucket with water and adopt some tadpoles from a nearby creek/puddle. i loved watching them slowly grow legs and lose tails. unfortunately, it seems they always jumped out right after becoming frogs and I never got to see a frog!!!!!! at least you saw yours! : - )

  22. This is the tricky part of having pets. You documented his life so beautifully, though.


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