Frida the British Wonder Frog
Our Lowestoft, England, newspaper recently reported that the annual migration of the local frog population is kicking into high gear, and that road signs are being posted to warn drivers at the frogs’ favorite crossings. Seriously? I thought. How fantastic! Just imagine what my three four-year-olds would do if they happened across such an amphibious event! But as it turned out, I won’t have to imagine too hard, because my husband and I caught us one of those migrating British froggies and I’m here to tell you, that frog’s sudden appearance at the breakfast table the next morning totally flipped these boys out.
It all began in the dead of night. My husband and I were out for an evening stroll (thank you, thank you, Grandma S., for that together time!), when I spotted one of the slimy little critters huddled on the sidewalk by a brick wall. Eureka! In my excitement, I shouted to my husband, “Catch it!” He responded as a good husband should, as if a doctor had just tapped his knee with a hammer. That is, upon hearing my shout, he automatically dropped to the ground and pounced on the frog. Then he stood up with that British froggie in his hand and a darling ‘big boy’ grin on his face. “Got ‘im!” he said proudly.
But see, here’s where we ran into a problem: How would we transport said British frog the final two miles of our walk? It’s not like we prowl about the dark streets of England carrying buckets or baggies.
“Put it in your pocket,” I suggested to my big boy.
“My pocket?” he said. “I’m not putting a frog in my pocket.”
A little boy would. I pointed to his head, which was snuggly hugged by a warm ski cap. “Okay, put him in your hat.”
“You can wash it.” I’m helpful like that.
“I’m not putting it in my hat,” he said. “What about your hat?”
Oh. “Carrying it in your hand will be fine,” I replied quickly. “It’ll like that.”
And that’s just what he did, he carried our British frog two miles in his hand as we brainstormed names for it, finally settling on Frida. (I don’t know why we decided it was a girl, we just did.) Upon reaching home, Frida was put in a bucket with a bit of water, and then we topped the bucket with a book further weighted down by a bottle of detergent. We didn’t want Frida jumping free while we slept. Then, we waited.
Morning came, our boys awoke, my husband ushered them into the kitchen and revealed Frida, and pandemonium ensued.
And after pandemonium, play time. Under my close supervision to make sure the frog was not harmed, the boys showed Frida all their toys, they let her watch them dig in the backyard ditch, they recorded her measurements, and they drove her around in their dump trucks.
Frida is lucky I don’t have three daughters, that frog would’ve been dressed in Barbie clothes within minutes. That’s what my sisters and I did with our guinea pig way back when. He didn’t look as happy about it as we did.
Eventually the time came to take Frida to her new home. Putting our slimy green friend back into her bucket with some water and a dirt clod from each of the boys, we headed for the nearest pond we knew of. There, Frida was set free. Swimming as if a mad pack of wild little boys was chasing her (ahem), she launched herself into the water amidst a flurry of cheers and waves. Thank you, Frida, for your short but prized visit.