Once upon a time, I was not fazed by or afraid to touch slimy, creepy creatures. OK, that’s a lie.
And today, I was reminded of that embarrassing personal fact. But I learned a few new things, too: 1.) Dogs will attempt to eat huge, ugly, live frogs (bullfrogs included), 2.) 8-and-9-year-old boys can scream as loud as (if not louder) than little girls and 3.) Grandpas are not afraid of huge, ugly, (somewhat) alive bullfrogs.
We have a creek running through the back yard, so having creatures nearby is not uncommon. All kinds of creatures — raccoons, chipmunks, frogs, toads, ducks, geese, coyotes, even a blue heron — have paid a visit.
But, last summer, “Ed” the bullfrog moved in. Ed migrated from the dry, August creek bed to our little fishpond in the yard. He made himself right at home and even earned himself a name from our younger son who loves all animals.
To our surprise, Ed returned to the pond this spring (well, we think it is was Ed).
The kids were so happy to see him again, and he stayed all summer long, but now, I think he might move out.
Covered in pond slime, Ed decided to take a shower in a late summer downpour. He must have been feeling brave, because Ed hopped up onto our deck for his cleansing.
After more than a year with our family, how does Ed not know that our 15-pound dog — that thinks he is a huge, fearless, beast – will not try to eat him?
The boys and their friend decided it would be wise to catch Ed and put him in a safe place (and make the Princess kiss him to see if he would turn into a prince). I knew if The Beast saw him, Ed would become a meal, so I agreed.
Poor Ed. If only I had known how things would turn out. I had his best interest in mind when I approved the bullfrog rescue mission, but the mission went south the minute I opened the door and The Beast escaped.
Ed panicked and jumped, throwing the rescue bucket aside. The boys screeched, Ed hopped again and slipped, the mastiff attacked and Ed fell off of the deck, flat onto his back. I screamed. The Princess screamed. The boys screamed some more and Ed ended up in the clamping jaws of The Beast.
“Drop it! Drop it! Drop it!” we all yelled at the dog that was just being a dog.
He dropped Ed onto the ground. Ed limped away as fast as he could and fell over.
“Someone flip him over!” I yelled. The “brave” boys looked at me like I was crazy.
“Ok, then someone go get Grandpa!”
The boys sprinted across the yard to retrieve Grandpa while the Princess — having retreated into the house — watched from the window in horror.
Brave Grandpa picked up Ed, resuscitated him, and placed him gently back in the pond. Ed did the sidestroke and then the backstroke and then hid away in the rocks.
The good news? Ed did not croak, but he’s not quite the same. He might need some post-traumatic stress counseling (or just a stiff drink).
And as for The Beast? He now has his eye on the smaller toads in the front yard.