Monday, April 12, 2010

How to catch a frog

I am hard headed. I know this. When I get something in my head, it is hard to get it out. This is usually helpful to me because as an Army Wife, I am stuck doing a lot of "stuff" that I might not otherwise do. You've read my posts about moving out during a hurricane, no less and then moving in all while David was deployed. You get it, right?

So this job that David has now, well, it involves a lot of travel. You know the kind of intense travel that makes it necessary for us to actually have a map to remember where he is? So there are things that have to be done when David is not here to do them. For example, lots of places where we lived, he would handle work orders and repair people for me - at least the scheduling part, anyway. And he has always handled the yard stuff, outside stuff, and tool related stuff. But there are times when I have to fire up the old lawn mower and make the backyard more dog friendly (at least for the dog that we have that is not afraid of grass. . .).

Don't you just love the quaint way it takes me forever to get to the point?
Hang on, it's coming.

So this Spring, the backyard has been cut twice. (Housing landscapes all the areas NOT inside the fence, whew!) And both times, I have been the one behind the old lawn mower. It is not that David can't or won't cut the grass, he simply hasn't been here. And again, I don't mind it. I kind of like it - it makes me feel like I am so tough. Anyway, I am cleared to use the lawn mower, but I am not cleared to use the weed eater. This is truly for the best. I am pretty klutzy, and it could end badly. So when I have mowed, the edges have been ignored. It was looking pretty bad. So me and my hard head. I got the bright idea to move the (pardon my technical terms) cement drainy thingy that sits under the gutters. Y'all know the one, right??

Now I was prepared for like a worm or a spider. I was very careful. And I used a shovel to pry that baby out of the dirt and grass where it was nearly covered with the un-edged grass/weeds that I have had to just let grow. After some serious elbow grease, I got it up. Yay, me! And I used the shovel, like a spatula and placed it over in the grass. Then I saw him. A big squishy toad!
I jumped back. I am not good with any creatures. I am good with cats and dogs and people. I am good with houseflies. I can kill a mosquito or a spider. But in between a spider and a cat you have frogs, snakes, mice, guinea pigs, ferrets - this is the area that I cannot handle. So I am slightly taken aback when I see the old toad.
So like any grown-up, mature person would do, I quickly called my Poppy to see what he thought I should do. I even more quickly dismissed his idea of me lifting the toad with the shovel and tossing him over the fence. Uh, no. What if he hopped on me? Oh my. No. So I was stumped.
Not Spencer. He disappeared into the house. He returned in a few minutes with a piece of paper. He had drawn on said paper with a crayon.
The drawing looked like this:
I said, "Honey, what is that?"
He said, "A fly."
My smart boy had drawn a picture of a fly. My precious, creative son then crouched down near the toad and held up the picture that he drew of the fly. He explained to me that, "Frogs like flies." Makes perfect sense to me.

He tried waving it. He tried dangling it. He tried holding it up high. He even asked me if he could let it go in the wind so the frog would think that it was actually flying, "you know, Mom, like a real fly." I praised him for his innovative thinking, but we were right where we started.
A toad was right there. I could not put the cement thingy back and I also could not mow the unedged grass. Bummer. What to do?

Spencer disappeared into the house again. He returned in a few more minutes with yet another piece of paper. He had again drawn on the other piece of paper with the same crayon.
The drawing looked like this:
I was a little stumped this time. I mean, I get the first one. The fly would certainly entice the toad, right? I mean, frogs and toads like flies, right. But I was not aware of another thing that they liked to eat.

So I asked Spencer what this drawing was. And my sweet, deep thinking boy explained to me that this picture was "a scary face." See, if he could not coax the frog out with a fly, he was now prepared to scare it out!! I had a hard time stifling my giggles. I certainly did not want to hurt his feelings, you know?! But later, when I recounted this story to David, I could barely finish it because I was laughing so hard that tears were streaming down my face. Oh my Spencer. What a clever boy!

P.S. We ended up waiting him out. A couple days later, when David was home, he put the cement thingy back and the area was toad-free!

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