I just wanted a tadpole.
It’s the first day of fall, and yes, I have already done my Christmas shopping. To be fair, we tend to keep Christmas pretty low key at our house. Each child gets one special thing.
This year I ran into a slight problem. I got one special gift for each of my children, but was left with too many choices for Maggie.
Maggie is my naturalist. She doesn’t just love nature, she is insatiably curious and devours every bit of information she can find. For her birthday, she got a microscope, which has been put to good use. For Christmas, I was torn between a “Grow a Frog” kit and a “Butterfly Garden” kit.
But wait…Why PAY for a tadpole kit when we have a perfectly good pond in the woods behind our house? Why wait for Christmas to do a perfectly interesting science project? Surely it could not be THAT hard to catch a tadpole? Armed with a mason jar, a fish net, and my dear Maggie, I began my hunt.
The pond, which may have originally been related to an old septic system, teems with life. I leaned over it with the mason jar and fish net, but soon realized that I was actually going to have to put my feet in to catch anything. I didn’t want to. It was a cold day and the muck at the bottom of the pond had been undisturbed for decades. When I finally convinced myself to do it, my feet sunk ankle deep in mud. Mysterious air bubbles floated to the surface from all around the vicinity I was in. The Swamp Monster seemed a very real possibility. Several swipes of the jap produced all forms of insect life, and two creatures that are either large bugs or possibly a tadpole and/or a baby turtle.
My feet were cold and numb when I got out. One hurt a bit, so I didn’t bother putting my boots back on. After being back in the house for a few minutes, I noticed a pool of rusty water beneath one of my feet. My right foot was crossed with a large gash, filled with pond muck. Thankfully, my Mom works from our home and was there to help me clean it out. The stinging didn’t worry me too much, but the dull ache traveling up my leg does a bit. I envision mutant amoebas reeking havoc.
But at least I saved $20 on a frog kit.