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Author Topic: The little girl visited with two cousins  (Read 736 times)

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Offline Reporter

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The little girl visited with two cousins
« on: September 07, 2019, 10:57:41 PM »
It's been a long while since she came to visit me again. And a lot have changed about her. Yet I didn't expect what I saw tonight.

Two cousins--boy and a girl, both under 10 but already in school--came with her to stay overnight because her parents would be out-of-town. The two cousins were just tagging along, although they have come to be very fond of me as well.

What surprised me was how outdoorsy they were. As soon as they hopped into the car, the little girl showed me a tiny dry tank of two amphibians.

"Reporter, you can look at them but don't use them as baits," said the girl cousin who was tagging along. (At a recent trip with the little girl and  her family, I told the little girl that frogs were good baits for catfish and that I wanted to use a frog she caught then for bait. Words must have gotten around to her little cousin...)

I looked at the frogs. "Those aren't frogs," I said. "See that one that's climbing the wall? That's a toad. See? That one you don't touch."

"One is a frog," said the boy cousin.

A leaf had covered the frog, so I saw only one of the legs. It appeared to be a leopard frog, so I said it might be.

"They said they knew you would help them feed those frogs," her mother texted me.

While on the road, the little girl asked if I had any apple at home.

"No," I said.

"Any fruit?" the little girl cousin asked.

"No. No fruits at all," I said. "If you want to eat some fruits, we have to go buy them before we go home."

I was surprised how healthy their minds were at this moment. They had often asked for ramen noodles only in the past.

"No. Those frogs eat fruits. We can feed them fruits," said the little girl.

No way! Who told them that?

I told them that frogs eat bugs and other small animals.  We wouldn't have any at home. But I said that we would shine lights into the backyard lawn to catch some crickets and whatever else there was.

They all agreed it was a great idea. They said they had fed one of the frogs with a moth but that it didn't  like it.

When we got to my place, I told them that we had to find some crickets in the backyard in the dark.

The little girl and her boy cousin said they weren't going to do that, while the little girl cousin was full of excitement about doing that.

So, I cut up an empty water bottle and the two of us went out with flash lights on our heads. We caught a moth at the deck door and then found some tiny millipedes that the girl cousin called centipedes, a grasshopper, and a few more moths.  (For the first time, I didn't know my backyard was full of bugs.)

"Let's just dump those bugs into the tank and let the frogs deal with them," I said. (I didn't want to touch them more or do anything more with them.)

"No," said the little girl. "That's too many. Just put a few there."

"What are we going to do with the rest? There's no need to keep them in the bottle. They might get out and run all over the places," I said.

They all remained quiet. But they started helping one another shake a few bugs into the tank.

"One of the frogs is looking at the moth," said the little girl.

"You know, they aren't going to eat those things. They are in a new place. They are very scared. They won't feel like eating," I said.

I asked where they got the frogs from and why they had to bring them here. Reluctantly, each of them slowly told me a piece of information.

"We got them from this place..." said the little girl.

They were at a festival earlier today, so I thought that might have been the place they got it from.

"So, they wanted you to learn how to raise frogs?" I asked.

"No. We got it from home," said the little boy.

"Whose home?"

"Uncle (the little boy's father) gave them to  us," the little girl cousin said. "Uncle got them out of a hole in the backyard."

The little boy wanted to change the subject, so he quickly raised his rubber snake toy to me and asked what kind of snake that was. I looked at it for a bit and told  him it was an indigo.

He had a backpack full of rubber spiders and other critters, too.

So, I realized they weren't going to raise these frogs but just wanted to play with them. They were hoping I would raise the frogs for them.

"Let's put them in the backyard and let them go," I said.

The girls agreed. But the little boy said it was already dark and they could be eaten if we let them out tonight.

"They might hop off the tank and go all over the house and we won't find them again," I said.  "Frogs know how to survive in the dark. So, let's take them outside now."

They all agreed, but no one would take the tank outside.




« Last Edit: September 08, 2019, 08:34:53 AM by Reporter »

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Re: The little girl visited with two cousins
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2019, 08:39:13 AM »
It's 8:30 a.m. the morning after.

"Are the frogs still alive?" I asked.

"Yeah," said the little boy.

"Let's take them outside now, now that it's daylight."

"No," he said.

"Why not?" I asked.

"Because we love them. Could you help us put the bugs in the tank?" the little girl said.

"You do it," I said.

"We don't want to touch them," she said.

"I don't want to touch them too much, either," I said.

Then I gave in. I thought about using my chopsticks to pick them. Then skewers came to mind. I went to the kitchen and took two skewers as chopsticks.

The leopard frog turned its head and grabbed the struggling ant within seconds. The ant was gone.

Looks like the frogs will have to go home with them later today. I wil threaten to use them as baits if they kept the tank here longer.



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Re: The little girl visited with two cousins
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2019, 11:43:41 AM »
Deal's done and all of us are happy.

When the trio learned that I might use the frogs as baits, especially if they are still alive to have them struggle in order to attract fish, they secretly called the girl cousin's father to pick them up that evening.

I was out to the store and came back to find him at the door.

He said he was taking them all to his place.

"Take the frogs, too," I said.

"We are," the girl cousin's father said.

"They eat bugs. Just any small bug. But you have to make sure they have some water," I said.

"Yeah. We have a small tank for water for them," he said.

Turned out, he, too, didn't want the amphibians to suffer. That's what the little girl's mom told me when I told her he actually took the frogs.

"He'll just release them after they kids have had enough fun with them," she said.

The little was still drawing her final picture as everyone else was leaving the house.

"Come back next time . But you must go to your mommy now. She misses you," I told her.

"I know," she said.

Two minutes later, all left the house.




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Re: The little girl visited with two cousins
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2019, 06:39:44 PM »
Surprisingly, the girl cousin's father rescued the frogs to even a greater degree than I thought.

I had thought he would just release them into his backyard. But, no. That was not the case at all. He did more: he fed bugs to them for two days in a moist tank with soft greens and a muddy bottom. Then on a rainy day, he took them to a pond far away and released them there on the pond's edge.

The little ones probably haven't heard of this final move. But one day soon I'll tell them about it, if the girl cousin hasn't done so.



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