Last week when we were getting ready to go to Atlanta, I was doing some last minute cleaning up (my compulsion to frantically clean the house the day before a trip when I should be packing is fodder for another blog) and noticed our beta fish looking very contemplative near the top of his fishbowl. Upon closer inspection, it looked like he had been dead for so long that his eyes had rotted out. I am not kidding when I say I do not care for pets that live in bowls.
The fish belonged to Jack. I was not mentally prepared for the weeping, gnashing of teeth and inevitable trip to Wal-Mart to purchase a new fish for me to neglect, so I did what every loving mother would do: I threw the fish away, hid the fishbowl, and said nothing about it. It has been ten days since I found the fish (who knows how long it has actually been dead) and no one has even noticed that it is missing. Well, Emma knows, but she’s been sworn to secrecy. Now that I think about it, maybe she found it floating in the bowl. I was mentally in packing mode, so I couldn’t be bothered with fish death particulars at the time.
But this is not about the recently departed bowl dweller…this post is about he-who-must-not-be-named, our Frog of Uncertain Origin. Will received him/her/it as a birthday gift three and a half years ago. Actually he just received a frog certificate, which we mailed to Grow a Frog. Our little tadpole showed up in the mail in a film canister a few weeks later. We nurtured and fed the tadpole, enjoying all of his little stages of development, never realizing that we had a monster on our hands. Yes, a monster. He/she/it has subsisted for years on nothing…we don’t feed it for weeks at a time, and yet it lives and thrives. It resides currently in a fishbowl on our dining room table because it freaks Jack out at night when it is croaking. I only clean the bowl water when I can no longer see the frog in the murk, because who knows what it might be doing in the unseen depths. Growing, no doubt, into a Frogzilla that will someday overtake the world. If you allow your finger to hover over the water, the frog will leap out and try to latch on with its creepy little froggy hands. Justin says he’s seen it jump out of the water and catch a fly that lingered to close to the water’s surface. Are you scared yet? You should be.
One time last year I was cleaning the frog’s water, and as I poured the water (and hopefully, the frog) into a stadium cup, he jumped into the sink, scooted around frantically, and disappeared into the food disposal. For a minute, I thought about flipping the switch…but I didn’t have the heart. Instead, I stuck my hand in the disposal and blindly grabbed around for the slippery little sucker. When I am initiated into the Mom Hall of Fame, I think this moment should be on the highlight reel.
So I love the frog – in the sense that I didn’t try to grind him into a bloody pulp in my kitchen sink – and I hate the frog, because he is a freak of nature. He’s probably a clone. His instructions said he can’t live outside of the water. What frog can’t live outside of the water? He’s not even an amphibian. I’ll dress Jack like the frog next Halloween.