If you'll recall, the first post in this series was about a shower in Italy. Well this one is even MORE scintillating; it is a story about my little sister's pet frog she had in 2-3rd grade.
His name was Sherman. She ordered a pint of frog eggs from some magazine ad (the days before the Internet, people), then from 2 zillion eggs maybe 7 turned into tadpoles, then only 3 of the tadpoles grew legs before croaking (har har), and she ended up finally with One Leopard Frog, Ah Ha Ha (think The Count on Sesame Street). This process took several weeks, but I do not remember most of it.
I do remember the drama when my dad was transitioning the tadpoles w/ legs into a different bowl and one fell into the kitchen sink and slipped down the disposal. It was horrifying and devastating to two little girls. The interesting thing is I can't remember if he was able to rescue that one or not -- all I remember is him fishing around in the disposal with a little tiny ketchup scraping instrument my mom had from Tupperware. Nicole, do you remember?
Anyway, finally Sherman, the only survivor, was moved into a tank with sand and a man-made pond (butter bowl) and rocks and things. Nicole had this on her dresser. That frog had personality, which is weird I guess. She was very attached to him. They had some kind of spiritual connection, as evidenced at night when he would make long, plaintive croaks and she would snore in response. They would talk to each other for hours. I think my mom and dad even have this on tape somewhere. I wonder if Nicole's husband has heard this? HA.
The frog ate bugs. So sometimes Nicole would catch bugs, like little grasshoppers or worms, and other times she'd feed him millworms(sp) and crickets from the petstore. Ok, we're getting into gross territory now, but still not THE grossest thing. Although watching Sherman hunt and eat live crickets was rather disturbing. The motionless worms, not so much.
ANYWAY. So this one time Nicole fed Sherman a large grasshopper. Now we lived in Kansas at the time, Land of the Giant Grasshoppers that actually SPIT TAR if you caught one and pissed it off. (is it really tar? I have no idea). The grasshopper was longer than Sherman. I think we put it in there more as a joke, to sort of taunt the frog, if you will. I mean, come on -- no way could that frog ingest that grasshopper, right?
The next morning we woke up and looked in the tank and OMG this image is forever emblazoned into my memory and to this day makes me squirm. Sherman HAD eaten the grasshopper. This was apparent because the grasshopper's head stuck out of his mouth and, and, and... the grasshopper's back end/legs were sticking out of Sherman's butt. It was as if the grasshopper had Sherman skewered; like the grasshopper was the stick and the frog was the... well, the shish kebob. It. Was. Gross. It was every bit as disturbing as your imagination can conjure. I have never, ever been the same.
The part that disturbed me so much was that Sherman had to be in pain, even dying. I mean, COME ON PEOPLE. A grasshopper was sticking out of both of his ends. I remember crying, having a stomachache, being traumatized -- and though I've never talked to Nicole about this before, I have to imagine she felt the same way, if not worse. We wanted my parents to take him to the vet, but ... well, there was no point. There was nothing a vet could have done. Sherman was about as long as a tube of lipstick so there wasn't a lot to work with. My dad kept telling us to just hang on and we'd see what happened.
Well I'll be damned if the next morning, Sherman wasn't back to his usual self. I am not making this up. I don't know what happened during the night, but the skewer was gone and Sherman seemed fine. This is one of the great mysteries of my childhood, and I've even wondered, in retrospect, if my dad somehow switched out the frogs during the night to prevent lifelong trauma to me and my sis? (Obviously it didn't work, did it). Nicole, I know you're a little busy with three little boys and packing to move in three weeks, but if you get a chance to comment, I'm curious to know what you remember about this incident...
So, there you go. Grossest thing #2. There's always more to come in this ongoing series... stay tuned.