Thursday, July 23, 2009


Oh, the things that a mother will do for her children. I wrote about the frog we got from preschool a few months ago. The kids had raised them from tadpoles, and a few were able to take one home at the end of the school year. Within 48 hours of being in the house, the frog had killed the only fish in the tank. And the snails were picked off one at a time until all that remained in the now algae-covered tank was one stinky, mean little frog that the girls had named Ariel.

The kids have been asking since that first weekend when we could get another fish. The answer was a simple one - we couldn't. No fish until the frog died. Every time we would go to the store, the kids would longingly look at the tanks, picking out the fish they would get again someday. A few people told me to just let it go. It's a water frog and would need to be either in water or very near a very wet place, and there happens to be a little pond at the golf course across the street. Unfortunately, the introduction of non-native species is a bad thing for any ecosystem, so I couldn't do that, especially when I already knew that this frog thought fish were tasty.

I met with some of the moms and kids from preschool for lunch earlier this week, and for some reason we started talking about the frogs. One of the other of the moms had taken a frog home, and it had been instantly adopted by her older daughter. It was her pet, she kept it in her room. And it had escaped a few weeks prior. The poor little girl was hoping to find it, and her parents knew that the chances of that happening were virtually nonexistent after the first couple days. But she held out hope.

"You're missing a frog, and I want to get rid of one?" I said. Isn't that terribly convenient? I told her that she could have ours. Really. I'd much rather have fish to be totally honest, and in doing so, we could give her daughter a pet again. She emailed me, asking if I was really sure. Completely. I told my kids that someone was going to take the frog, and give it a new home. They wanted to know where it was going, and I could only tell them it would be safe and loved. They can't know where it was going, because the little girl on the receiving end can't know where it came from. And she is a good friend of Ashley's. They said their goodbyes, looking forward to the new fish.

And so last night, under the cover of darkness, my friend came to pick up the frog. Packed and ready to go to a new home, Ariel was waiting. I'm sure this morning that her name isn't Ariel anymore. I'm sure that we are going fish shopping in the very near future. And I'm sure that a little girl's hope in finding lost things is restored.

Have a good life, froggy. For now, I've got a tank to clean.

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