Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Beware of gifts

Once upon a time there were 2 kids whose Daddy moved away. Daddy wanted to give his kids something special and fun so he gave them a frog hatchery kit when he visited one day. Mommy didn't think it was too dangerous, might even be interesting. So while Dad skedaddled to the other side of town, Mom mailed the coupon for the tadpoles.

When the tadpoles arrived the kids filled up the small plastic aquarium, treated the water, read all the instructions to make sure everything was just so - and then released the tadpoles from their airmail water pouch into their new home.

If Mom recalls, they were tiny little things, and the sea monkeys they came with (to feed them) were tinier even. But the kids watched them get bigger and more frog-like, or float up to the top and die or they found one poor soul flattened and dry on the floor where he had leaped to his death. They grew legs and their tales got shorter and shorter until they were gone. There were 4 limbs a piece, no tales left, when it was decided that Daddy should take a few of the froglettes to his house to live. The 2 left at Mommy's house were named Marge and Homer and mostly forgotten by the kids.

Daddy build an "ecosystem" for the frogs on his patio, inside a giant wooden half-barrel. Very picturesque but not designed to necessarily contain live hoppy frogs. One by one they went missing and Dad thew up his hands "Oh well. They must have wanted to be free!"

Mommy was not so smart. Her 2 frogs got bigger so she got them a 10 gallon aquarium and put filters and stones and some little caves in it. The frogs seemed to like their new home and only had a few escape attempts. One of them still has a mark on his (her?) belly from where he was found stuck to the floor under the hot water heater once. After that Mom rigged up a cover for the aquarium and there they stayed.

Year after year

after year

after year ...

And I bet Daddy doesn't know that Mommy still has the freaking frogs, 16 years later! Mommy stopped cleaning the filters very often, she only feeds the frogs maybe once a week. She uses plain old tap water when she adds or replaces water in the tank and does not go one inch out of her way to keep them alive.

Moral of the story - beware of ex-husbands bearing gifts for the kids. Nobody expects a frog, much less 2 - to live to 16 AND BEYOND!!!


Stimey said...

Yeah. You know my tadpoles were a gift too.

You have just described my nightmare. How am I supposed to enjoy my empty nest years if I am still taking care of these frogs? I mean frog.

Mahala said...

I lurved my frogs, until they started eating my fishes. Dey is ebil.

PawHealer said...

o thinks you keep those vermin as a reminder!

BetteJo said...

Obviously I don't have the stomach to kill them or I would have done it years ago!

Lady Banana said...

Ohhhhh.. that's kinda cute! I am so amazed they live soo long!

Lavender said...

!!!! SIXTEEN !!!!
I had no idea those bug eyed little freaks could live so long, you poor woman!!!

Barbara said...

Hilarious post! My son once received a "free" pet salamander. Believe me, I sympathize.