Saturday, June 13, 2009

No critters were harmed in the writing of this blog post.

It's been a recurring theme throughout the years while living in my house. Critters in my yard seem to have a death wish.

They get injured, some have died. Frogs, snakes, birds, a squirrel, maybe a bear. But let it be understood: I live here with no intent to harm critters of any kind.

It. Just. Happens.

This week has been a double whammy. Earlier this week, I apparently watered this sad little bird with the yard sprinklers for about 30 minutes before I noticed him.

He was completely water logged. At first I thought he was dead. But then I realized I had knocked him over the head with the water hose while moving the hose, which is when I figured I had probably watered him thoroughly. Unintentionally, of course.

So, not only had he fallen out of a nest that I couldn't find, I probably knocked him unconcious for awhile with the hose.

I proceeded NOT to water anymore until he moved out of the way. But, he didn't move. He just watched me. Was he drowning? I don't know. Are birds immobilized by excessive water? Again.... I don't know.

Then he began to hop. So, I figured this was a good sign. He hopped aimlessly for a few minutes. There really was no purpose or direction to his hop. I didn't know what to do. He hopped without meaning. I didn't understand. I talked to him, encouraged him to hop over to the neighbor's yard, or under the car, out of water's way.

He just hopped. Nowhere in particular.

It was getting dark, but I felt like I needed to stay with him and make sure he lived a long life. Maybe after he dried out for awhile, he'd be able to hop away to his bird family. I decided I needed to make up for all of the other lost critters over the years. I would not let this bird down.

But then I distinctly heard him squeak out a "mama" and he began to hop TOWARD me. So . . . rather than lead him on to a life of disappointment because he was abandoned by TWO mothers (the one who tossed him out of a nest, clearly before he was ready . . . and me - I mean, seriously . . . what would I do with a wild bird?), I bolted before he could get too attached.

I was hungry anyway.

Next morning, I found no sign of him . . . until I looked closer and found what I'm pretty sure was a tiny bird carcass near where I last saw him. Probably the result of a cat. And that would be the SECOND bird I've seen gotten by that cat since I've lived here.

The first one was a massacre . . . bird body parts and feathers everywhere . . .

Anyway, R.I.P. sad, tiny bird.

THEN, today. I finish weed-whacking the yard and I'm heading back to the garage when I notice what looks like a frog hanging out in an odd place in the middle of the grass.

It was, in fact, a frog. I picked it up so that I wouldn't MOW it (see? I mean well . . .), at which time I discovered that I had apparently already WEED-WHACKED it. He looked at me with sadness in his eyes.

The three bloody stumps that used to be his legs are probably why he was sad. And his blood was literally on my hands . . .

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!? What are the odds that in my few years in this house, I would weed-whack not one but TWO frogs while doing routine yard work.

Flashbacks to the first frog a few years ago immediately came to mind. He and I had been friends. He hung out by my water spigot. And then one day . . . he decided to go on vacation near the air conditioner WITHOUT TELLING ME. It was there, by the a/c, that I saw the trail of blood. And my friend, the frog, was one leg short of all the legs he used to know and love.

We never spoke again. He survived. I would see him, dragging himself along with his three good legs . . . anger in his heart . . .

I have never gotten over it.

So . . . back to today's frog. I wasn't going to let this frog go the way of the other frog. And I wasn't going to lose two yard critters in one week.

I gently put him in a safe place where I would not mow him. I watched him. He watched me. My heart broke a little . . . maybe he was the son of my former frog friend? And now the same thing had happened to him.

I swear, I really love frogs. I mean them no harm.

I needed time to think. So, I finished mowing the front yard. I planned out that I would put him in a box or a container, rigged with a water dish that he could hop (or well . . . drag himself) around in. There would be rocks, some vegetation for shade. And I would put him in a place where he could still catch bugs for food. Although in case the bugs did not come to his frog habitat, I made plans to Google "what do frogs eat" later.

I would nurse him back to health and teach him how to live, love, and prosper with only one good leg and three stumps. It would be a beautiful story that I would someday write a book about, then sell the movie rights for a feature film in which Ellen Page would play me as the kindly, yet sarcastic girl who owns the house and tries to keep the yard critters from succeeding with their death wishes, then forms a special bond with a special frog and they grow old together, dying of old age . . . on the very same day so that neither one has to live a day without the other one.

I know, right? It's good.

All of this planning took 10 minutes (including the yard mowing). And after 10 minutes, I returned to where I had safely left the poor legless frog . . . AND HE WAS GONE.

I have to believe he is a survivor. That he was able to drag himself away, being brave, and protecting me from seeing him suffer anymore. He will nurse himself back to health and learn how to cope with three less legs than he had this morning.

One day he will come back to me, tell me that all is forgiven. That his life is richer because of overcoming this struggle and that he owes it all to my unfortunate tendency to weed-whack frogs.

Unintentionally, of course.

He will thank me, and then I will write the book . . . NO. WE will write the book, then sell the movie rights. Ellen Page will turn down another role to play me. And no less than 108 frogs will be used to play my very special frog, all of which will be rescued from unfortunate frog accidents that leave them but with one leg and three stumps, to be given a new life in the movie/stunt frog business.

It will be called Froggy and Me.

Oh yeah. I have a VERY vivid imagination.

Unintentionally, of course.


1 comment:

Steven said...

i like reading your blog.