jayellebee's Blog

March 1, 2010

Rib-bit

Filed under: Musings — Joanne @ 10:51 pm

The recent faux spring weather we’re enjoying has much of the local wildlife confused.  Canada geese already swim the pond in pairs, the males of our resident turkey tribe gobble from rooftops, and the creeks reverberate with tree frog rib-bits.

Those frog songs lull me into recalling a litany of encounters with the species.   My thoughts could have, but did not, include the boys I kissed hoping to discover a prince.

I always enjoyed accompanying my three young sons on their creek excursions.  Each spring we set off in  pursuit of frog eggs.  None of us ever tired of watching the hatched tadpoles mature into miniature amphibians.  One year we made the mistake of releasing the four-legged youngsters in our backyard. The following year we were deafened by scores of mating frogs which produced thousands of eggs in our swimming pool.

Once, while exploring a soon-to-be-demolished fountain, the boys and I chanced to spot a bull frog tadpole in the murky shallow water.  We hurried across the street to buy something, anything,  that could be used to collect the prized eight inch specimen, saving it from what had to be impending doom.  The grateful giant occupied an aquarium in our kitchen, feasting on hand-captured bugs, until such time as we could relocate him (her?) to a nearby lake.

As a high school senior, I joined a group of friends portraying dying frogs – on stage no less – accompanied by the doleful words of T.S. Eliot, “This is the way the world ends / Not with a bang, but a whimper.”  Hating anything that remotely resembled running, I took Modern Dance classes to fulfill my P.E. requirement.  The dying frog thing was a segment in one of our annual performances.  I seem to recall we used kazoos to imitate the rib-bits and wore green tights.

My ninth grade Biology teacher experienced a supply and demand problem that involved frogs.  Mr. X (interesting that I remember the situation, but not the teacher’s name) needed frogs for us to dissect, but had only half the quantity needed marinating on his shelf.  He offered extra credit to any student delivering a live frog to be sacrificed in the name of science.  I managed to catch a frog over the weekend, but bonded with it before school the next Monday.  My parents had to drive me to an area where my captive/friend could be released back into the wild.

Of course, I still had to dissect the frog some other kid brought in for Brownie Points.  But that didn’t bother me.  I hadn’t named that one.

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