Friday, June 27, 2008

The Frog Whisperer

It all started with the weekly cleanouts of our enormous window wells last summer. Each week, we would collect massive amounts of frogs from inside our basement window wells, put them in a bucket and deliver them home to the pond behind our house. The kids got a huge kick out of this; especially when our daily tally would hit numbers like 13 or 14 frogs. I’ve always had tomboy tendencies and one frog at a time is no problem for me, but I’ve got to tell you, thirteen frogs scampering to get out of my hands or catapulting off each other to find freedom from the bucket, kind of grosses me out.

Frog dreams were squashed when we bit the bullet this spring and spent crazy money on the least rewarding home improvement project ever: window well covers. Finn was starting to climb down the ladder inside and I saw an ER trip in my near future. Plus, if you skip a week of frog collection, well, I’m sure you can imagine the disastrous results, visible from inside all basement windows. We had to do it.

So now, my girls lurk around unsuspecting neighbors' window wells, trying to catch a sighting of Toby Toad or Fred the Frog. I’ve caught them running with buckets full from another kid’s house, thrilled with their take and the other kid running behind crying, realizing that they want what they never knew they had. These kids have flipped for frogs, with Logan leading the way.

She’s good at it to, catching some every day, reluctantly taking them to the pond after she’s had enough prodding from me. She holds them and talks to them and makes them nice, temporary homes in buckets full of rocks and water and grass. They’re her pets.

Strangely enough (for frogs, that is) I think they like her, too! They almost seem to seek her out… we can be in a parking lot or even inside her state-of-the-art indoor pool for swimming lessons. Yesterday, she found five while we were leaving the pool building. All frog babies, who she gently picked up and placed in a muddy spot with hopes of each having a good, long life. I called her the “frog whisperer” and it stuck. I couldn’t believe she even understood what I meant, but she instantly loved it and proudly proclaimed the title the whole way home.

Within minutes after arriving home, Logan had another bucket full, including some other poor little rescued bugs that fell into her loving hands. Later, I found the bucket, empty of its previous live contents, sitting on my dryer in the laundry room. When I asked her if there were bugs or frogs in it when she brought it in, she said, “Yes, but I don’t know where they went!”

So, as I watch every step for inch worms, lady bugs and you guessed it - frogs, my question of the day is: How do I get this bug and frog catcher to ditch her relentless fear of spiders?


1 comment:

mary said...

What a sweet entry on the life of Logan at age "6"! She's entirely captivated by God's creatures big, small, tiny, leggy and slippery. She's in such a wonderful place - finding everything so very interesting and so very new and she's able to gently care for what, "some Grammies," might run from.

I can envision her feminine little self, in a cute little dress, curls blowing in the breeze, placing frogs in a bucket as she tells them everything will be okay. There is no hesitation. Just like you at that age, sort of a tom boy but all feminine at the same time. The mental picture takes me to a different place ... (thanks for the rewind back in time).

In what you might consider the "olden days," I had quite the adventuresome spirit unlike my "hands off" attitude today. I dug for worms with my girl friends and I carefully placed them in old coffee cans. Some worms were long and some were not. Some worms were skinny and some were not and we gleefully commented on the physical state of each one captured. We never went fishing and ended up placing the worms back into their earth home to be dug up again another day.

I picked up caterpillars and pet their fuzzy, fury little bodies as I watched them move up my arm or leg (I didn't care), I rejoiced if I found a cacoon and would study it for hours. I would wonder in amazement how ants built those little hill huts for themselves as I squatted close to get a better look.

I slept in blanket tents that were hung over cloths lines and although I thought about it, I never feared what "night bug" might crawl in to spend time with me and my girlfriends, Marilyn and Marie. We were the 3 M Club and had no fear (or we were having too much fun to take much notice. Childhood is great that way...). That faze of my life did not last long but for others the "nature magic" lasts a lifetime.

Now the thought of touching a worm makes me feel all, "yucky". I just couldn't put one on the end of a hook. I don't really know how I came to find bugs and the like, so unappealing but I did. I'm tell you this, in case you ever wonder...

I wouldn't worry about Logan being scared of spiders though. I still am - but I am quite capable (eyes half closed) of ending their intrusion into my space when necessary. Don't know where that courage comes from but growing up puts most of that kind of "stuff" in perspective.

I still like lady and lightening bugs and butterflies (who doesn't) and I don't step on ants, if I can help it.

Yea for the "frog whisperer" who goes by the name of Logan. May she always feel "nature's magic" (just like her mom) and may her squeals be those of pure joy (rather then being spooked by those tiny critters - like her Grammy).