Friday, October 03, 2008

Science Friday - Frogs....

...and learning life lessons.

We thought petsitting for PITA woman would be a short science lesson, a one week exploration into the life of frogs. She has a habit of adopting creatures and observing them. She asked if we could mind the wee beasties while she was away. We were delivered an aquarium with three tiny frogs, and instructions to feed them ants a couple of times a day. How hard could it be? Little did we know.

The first day went fine, and the second, though the frogs are so tiny, they are difficult to find in the aquarium. I often used a flashlight to locate them. We'd placed the aquarium atop William's dresser, out of direct light and in his room to avoid them being in the traffic of everyday life. While I left the room to find my flashlight (which has legs of its own), I heard a tremendous crash and a frantic, "Oh, no! I didn't mean it!"

The aquarium lay broken in a million pieces on the floor and seeing no blood on William and noting he wasn't screaming, I knew he was okay, but the frogs? What had he done? It seems that in an effort to view the frogs, William climbed his dresser drawers, tilting the dresser enough to dump the aquarium. Thanks to God, he wasn't hurt. After being the mom from hell and yelling at him, I asked him to leave as Lauren and I sifted through gravel and glass looking for the frogs.

Quickly, I found two, but the third lay unresponsive. I saw only one back leg, and declared him dead at 9-0-4 a.m. William despaired not that the aquarium was broken, but that he'd caused the death of the tiny frog. We put the two in a jar, and I set about cleaning up the mess. About to pick up the main piece, I noticed that the dead frog was indeed not dead, but very much alive. His leg must have been under him, unnoticed, and though still in a little shock, he was okay.

We spent the morning going to thrift shops and StuffMart to get supplies to replace what was broken. It came out of William's allowance. But I didn't mean it. While it was hard to be the bad guy, I explained that if Mommy wrecked the car into someone else's car, and didn't mean it, I still had to fix it, make them whole if I could. $16 later, he'll likely never climb his dresser drawers again.

The next day went fine, but we learned yet another lesson later in the week. Having caught a good number of ants in a plastic container, I just put the whole container in the aquarium, avoiding dumping the dirt in there and escaping ants. The next morning, I noticed that one of the smaller frogs had gotten into the container and was being attacked by ants! I don't know why he didn't just leave, but I had to swim him in the water to get the ants off and remove the remaining ants. Alone, they are eaten, but in an army, ants attack! The frog hid for awhile, and we weren't sure if he would make it. Surprisingly, he did.

We were relieved when PITA picked up the frogs, so worried we were that another disaster might befall them and we'd be responsible! The frogs are now safely home, and hopefully, safe.


Camflock said...

What a great life lesson -- "making things right" and "taking responsibility." Sorry it had to come in such a shattering way. Glad to hear that all 3 frogs made it.

pita-woman said...

Even though I already knew the story, I still had tears in my eyes as I laughed while reading it.
Yes, when I first was told of the incident, my first concern was for the boy's well-being. I'd hate to think harm had come to him while trying to care for my critters.
I'm delighted to report that all three are still doing well, and have now been given names.
I've got a blog to write telling about it, but w/my work-load today, it may take a couple of days to get it posted.
Thanks again for taking care of my "kids"... do you think taking care of 3 great danes would've been easier and less stressful on you?


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