For Christmas we received the most alarming gift ever. This is what happened:
Two days before Christmas Jonathan and I decided to get a jump on things and start wrapping, instead of waiting until after we returned from the Christmas Eve service and staying up all night so we were shot on Christmas morn. So we pulled all the packages that had arrived by mail from the basement and the closets and started to wrap.
We pulled out books and games and clothes. Jonathan opened a box that had arrived about a week earlier by UPS, been thrown over our high spiked fence, and sat in our bedroom since then. He reached into the styrofoam peanuts and pulled out...a plastic bag full of frogs. Live frogs.
He nearly screamed. Then me. Then we wanted to throw up. It was just wrong. How could frogs travel by mail? UPS? In a little bag with no food, no air, no nothing? Why hadn't anyone warned us? I wanted to all up PETA. It was deeply disturbing.
Worst of all, we could not take them out because they needed spring water, and after that they couldn't eat for two days, because they had to calm down after the trauma of travel and a new environment. I felt like they had been sent to us to die.
Worse, as I read the precautions and rules, I began to wonder what kind of frogs they were. They could survive in a box with no food, light or water for at least two weeks. We could not touch them. They were totally toxic. Were they some brand of corporate frog, bred for consumers? It was all so sci fi and wrong, and now we were part of it.
But, in the end, they were not toxic, merely carriers of salmonella. We got the water, set them up in their slightly cracked frog o sphere with bamboo and blue rocks and fed them. And, truth be told, they were kind of cute. It was fun to watch them swimming around. They were easy. They looked happy. The boys named them Silly Hopper and Snowflake. My sister did research. They were South African frogs, which grew up to five inches in the wild (wow!) which meant that if they ate real food, perhaps they could get that big in our house, which, I guess, is why they said to never let the frogs be anywhere near food. Perhaps they would show bionic force and burst from their frogosphere. They started to appear in my dreams--huge, emerging from the terrarium, hopping around, toxic. Deeply disturbing.
We enjoyed a happy month. We calmed down. Some days they were slower. They liked fire and sun. I think you can feel where this is headed...
Well, this morning we came down and the frogs were dead. Both were floating belly up. It was heart wrenching. And we don't even know how to dispose of them in an environmentally safe way. We plan to bury them in the yard, and pray that no bird or coyote will dig them up and become ill and die.
For now the living room is a dead zone. It feels sad. I really don't want to deal. The boys are sad.
The frogs we never asked for, but came to love, are dead.
We don't know what happened to kill them so suddenly. Were they cold? Already sick? We don't know, but we still feel like murderers.
We will give them a proper burial. It is all we can do.
2 years ago