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We have a host of tiny frogs all over the house, literally in every room. They are up to an inch long, but many are half that or smaller, a speckled green/gold colour with huge black eyes. They ping about from surface to surface, and occasionally along the floor. I have stepped on the odd one, a bit of a cold, slimy shock (I didn’t squash them, they somehow got out from under my foot) and I have discovered that they have a toxic skin. I woke up with a burning sensation on the palm of my hand, then all the skin went red and flaked off. A little while later it happened again. Then Baloo tried eating a frog, he was in so much distress, (don’t suppose the frog felt great either) rubbing his mouth, drinking vast amounts of water, eating ravenously and trying to be sick, (he wont do that again, well actually he probably will, not very smart is Baloo). Later I trod on a frog and got that burning under my toes, putting two and two together, I think all the burning sensations were from the frogs, I often wake up with one near my pillow, (maybe he is a handsome prince but I’m not going to kiss him now). They also have the habit of hiding in the hinge side of the door and windows, not clever as they occasionally get squashed in there, yuk.

One of the frogs who go Ping!

One of the frogs who go Ping!

They like to hang about the kitchen sink, occasionally with disastrous consequences for them. I have accidentally cooked one when it pinged into the strainer, just as I was tipping the boiling water from the pasta into it. I tried to rescue the poor thing, tipping it into the cold water sitting in the other sink, but it was stretched out as in mid ping, and obviously wasn’t going to be pinging in this life any more. We now have to rinse every cup and bowl before use, cereal with frog or coffee with added ping is not my thing.

In the bathroom, we currently have seven. Frequently getting a cold wet slap on the back or bum while showering or on the loo. Even though I know they will do it, I always jump, though not as spectacularly as the frogs. For something so tiny, they can jump incredible distances, and not only sideways but straight up, I’ve seen one jump nearly a metre, amazing.

A few years back we had enormous toads all over the house, too big to jump (or too lazy), they lumbered about like old men, looking very grumpy and fed up with their lot. The only time we saw them move at speed was when they were after a bug, boy could they gobble up a beetle. My mother in law was horrified that I tolerated the toads in the house, but rather them than bugs. As mysteriously as they arrived, the giant toads disappeared, they have never come back, except for one who occasionally hovers about by the back door. I wonder if the little frogs will disappear too.

House toad, having upset the bowl of cat food, it was having a feast.

House toad, having upset the bowl of cat food, it was having a feast.

 

 

©Claire Pattison Valente 2009

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