lundi 8 août 2011

Fia and the frogs

Fia, on her first birthday Friday


"Mom?" came Sam's voice from upstairs.

"Yes, Sam?"

"I think Fia has a frog in her mouth."

I was up and off the sofa and out the living room door in a frog's heartbeat. She was in the garden, next to the fish-pond-in-an-old-fountain, and watched me approach.

"Fia, crache-moi ça."

She looked at me, mouth suspiciously tightly closed, and hesitated, glanced down and looked back at me, mouth still shut tight as an oyster. Anyone who knows dogs knows that this is not how they great someone they love, unless they happen to have a frog in their mouths. Ordinarily, there is a pink tongue hanging out, and a lot of eager breathing.

"Crache," I ordered in such a way as to make it abundantly clear that I knew that she had a frog in there and that she had no alternative but to release it. Immediately.

And she did, being a very obedient dog -- who understands the command "spit that thing out of your mouth right this second", this not being the first time I have had to instruct her to release a frog from her gueule --, and out plopped an intact, breathing and blinking medium-size, emerald green frog, landing on his belly in the grass in a perfectly ordinary frog posture, looking little worse for the experience.

"Fia," I shook my head and stared at her, wordlessly communicating all the displeasure I felt alongside a sort of enchantment. I picked the frog up, felt its a tad overly warm belly beat against my palm, and then set it on a lily pad.

It had disappeared into the water in the time it took me to step inside for my camera, but by then, Sam had appeared.

"You ready to leave soon?" he asked. We were going to the train station. I nodded.

"There was a frog in her mouth," I told him.

"Yeah," he said. "She was lying next to it before, and then I saw her pick it up."

"I guess that's what you have to do when you don't have fingers and a palm in which to carry your little friends," I said.

It certainly is a lot stuffier and hotter in there, though, than it is in a hand, or even in a boy's trouser pocket.

Next, I am going to teach her how to release them back into the pond-in-the-old-fountain. Frog capture and retrieval system, to protect them from the much less delicate cats.
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