Toward the end of the last school year, the teacher in my classroom decided it would be awesome to do a science section on frogs. Not only were we going to read books about frogs, we were also going to have some in the classroom.
But first, we’d need to grow them!
She ordered a kit that included at least 100 frog eggs, and minimal instruction as to their care. After some diligent searching on the web, she found a site that helped her, and we were soon on our way to experiencing the whole “cycle of life” of frogs.
The students were excited and every day, we watched more tadpoles hatch and swim around… and die. She was constantly fishing out the dead ones. Until one day, we discovered that they weren’t really dead, they were just exhausted from all that swimming and were napping. Of course, now, they were REALLY napping. Fortunately, this was discovered while we still had several tadpoles in the tank, so all was not lost.
Equipment was purchased as needed, and soon we began to see the little darlings change. Soon, tiny legs began to sprout from under their tails. This was a point of contention for a few days, as that was also where the little polliwogs pooped, so was it poop, or were they feet? We decided, if it fell off, it was poop.
They grew…and grew…and one day, the first one popped out the front legs and we had froglets. Panic ensued, because we weren’t quite ready and had to shuffle the tanks around to accommodate both land dwelling frogs, and water breathing polliwogs. I was put in charge of the terra forming project and I had a blast.
Unfortunately, something wasn’t quite right with several of the froglets and they began to die off. I don’t think they were eating enough, as their back legs ceased to function. Soon, we were down to one polliwog and seven froglets, and the last day of school was upon us. According to the place where we bought the frog eggs, we were supposed to salt the water or do other nefarious things to kill the frogs, as they could not be turned loose in the wild.
We sent them home with the children, instead. With parental permission, of course.
But, there was still the matter of the last polliwog. Teacher was about to end him, but I decided to intervene. “I’ll take him home,” I said, crossing my fingers that a) Tam wouldn’t mind, and b) we had something to keep him in.
I got lucky on both counts, and “Wogs” came home with me that last day. While most of his siblings had become froglets by the end of May, Wogs held out. I pampered him, took him outside into the sunshine for a few hours, then one day, he stopped swimming. I checked and checked, but he remained in that same spot. I stopped putting food in for him, but couldn’t quite bring myself to flush the body right away. Two days later, I knew it was time. I looked at the bowl and THE LITTLE SHIT STARTED SWIMMING!
Soon, his back legs began getting bigger, but he remained a ‘wog. He grew, but the front legs didn’t show. It was time for us to head out on vacation, so we packed up the wog in a portable tank and away we went. I was really glad I did that, because while we were visiting my parents, the ‘wog’s front legs… well, they… dang, it was kind of troubling to watch, because they just kind of BURST out from inside him. You know, like an alien… Yeah, like that.
It was panic time, because soon he’d need to get the hell out of the water, and I’d need to figure out what to feed him. None of the pet stores in the Southern Kingdom had pinhead crickets, but they did have containers of…”Flightless Fruit Flies.”
Don’t try to say it three times fast, because you will sprain your tongue and be mad at me.
The flies were perfect and Frog Woggins scarfed them down almost as fast as I could feed them to him. But, what I didn’t understand was what happens to the fruit flies when they’re not crawling around inside their special home with flightless fruit fly culture in it? I did not know they would keep living, so I spent a lot of money on those things until we accidently discovered that there were plenty of eggs that would hatch…
Live and learn.
Frog Woggins munched down a lot of flies, and once I learned their little secret of new hatchings, I began saving money.
Note: Just because they are flightless, does in no way mean they will remain in the frog habitat. They can, and WILL crawl out and all over the place. It is…unsettling. Especially for Tam, because I would feed the frog on the front porch and leave him out to enjoy the sun, but it was also right where she would go out to have a smoke. So it was not uncommon to be sitting inside, minding my own business, when what to my wondering ears should be heard, but the cursing and swearing of very bad words. Evidently, fruit flies like my girlfriend. A lot.
Also, Flightless Fruit Flies are only flightless for one generation, and they are not sterile.
Guess who has fruit flies all over her house? Go ahead, guess. If you guessed me, you’re right! For being right, I’ll send you as many of the fifty million flying fruit flies as I can possibly catch. Tam is thrilled about the winged pests. Almost as thrilled by those, as she was when I told her some of the crickets had escaped.