Sunday, August 08, 2010

Missy and Kissy

This morning in a fit of sleep-deprivation-inspired lunacy I announced that we would go over to the river to catch some tadpoles in the frog pond.

I know.

Luckily, it was early enough in the morning that we didn't have an audience.  There's just something unsettling about the idea having people watch me balance on one hand and knee while leaning precariously over and scooping rotting leaf debris out of a pool of fetid water.  Thank goodness neither of us lost our balance, as it would take weeks to get the stench out of our clothes.

One "extremely nasty kitchen strainer and a tupperware bowl I'll never use again" later, we've got two tadpoles.  Since we didn't bother to do any research at all before we caught them - that would have made too much sense - we just filled up the bowl with scummy pond water and brought them home in that.  Thank goodness we remembered the lid, because the water is, um, fragrant.

"Fragrant," as in "I haven't smelled that particular smell since we had to culture pond water for biology class in junior high school."  Yech.

So now I have a gallon of the most disgusting water imaginable sitting on my kitchen counter, waiting for our new aquarium to equilibrate so we can transfer the little darlings in there.  In addition to the rotting vegetation and other debris ("Look a dead snail shell!  Let's throw that in there so the tadpoles feel at home!"), I can count at least a dozen different types of nasty swimming microscopic creatures, and that's not including those slimy grey squirmy things down in the leaves.  Seriously - every tiny little dot you see in the water is swimming.

Meanwhile, after five hours the two tadpoles are still alive, despite their rather rude removal from their vernal pool and the subsequent jostling trip home.  Certain people have been cautioned repeatedly against thumping on the side of the tupperware "to say hello" and/or getting any of that filthy water on their hands/their clothes/my kitchen.  They've also been taught the words "Giardia" and "explosive diarrhea," as well as how to wash their hands with blisteringly hot water and half a bar of soap any time they so much as look at that end of the kitchen.

A quick bit of google-fu determined that the tadpoles are probably bullfrogs, and bullfrogs are ridiculously slow to mature, so we decided we'd better get set up for the long haul now.  One plastic aquarium, two plastic plants, a bag of gravel, and a cute little purple net later, we're only 22 hours away from being able to see the little dudes without looking through water made hazy by so many flagella.

They've acquired tentative names, too, despite the fact that they're currently indistinguishable.  Whichever one is currently making puckered fish mouth movements is called "Kissy" (he's on the left), and whichever one is hiding under some piece of putrescence is called "Missy" (she's on the right, partially lurking under a leaf).

I know.

I tried to convince her that "Casanova" and "Godot" would be better, but somehow I lost that battle.  I couldn't even get her to agree to Bonnie and Clyde, Max and Ruby, Thelma and Louise, or Frankie and Johnny.  I think I'm losing my touch.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Time to start looking for the frog legs recipes!