As the pool pump made a couple of those sounds that could not escape my well trained ears, I had to take a peek into the pool skimmer. The skimmer was full of leaves, so it appears the telltale noises could not escape the surprise-adverse ears I have been wearing for a few years.
When I returned the skimmer basket from the leaf burial ground, a little frog was sitting along side the pool. I could only guess he had fallen into the pool and been sucked into the skimmer overnight. (Now that the pool is winterized, this is not likely to happen again this year. A couple of wind storms have given the pool skimmer and the vacuum more than they could clean up in a couple of days. Now, that the temperatures are dropping, the pool blanket has come out to keep the pool warm as far into fall as possible AND the leaf netting has come out to provide a more manageable way to remove all of the leaves once they start dropping from the well placed tree right beside the pool…) I yelled at my daughters to show them my little friend. He did not seem to be doing so well. It was my believe he took a big drink of a liquid (salt water). As the liquid worked its way through his system, his outlook was not good.
My daughters, however, were not going to give up easily. They tried to give him a big drink of tap water. They tried to scrounge up a bug or two so he could have an easy snack. They really loved on him beyond his ability to appreciate it. His movements were present, but very slow when I found him. And, as he spent time with my daughters, it appeared his reflexes continued to slow—so slow in fact, he expired before they had time to implement all of their revival plans. (The final part of their plan was to take him to school to let their favorite science teacher prove she was capable of saving the life of an amphibian….she had already saved a reptile (turtle) and a few fish this school year.)
Despite his brief time as a Gruenbaum, I was so glad to see how his life was not dismissed by my girls. They dove in despite the high probability of failure. They likely accepted the worst case scenario from the moment they met “froggie”. Despite the downside, they chose to be optimistic and move forward with a plan. I enjoyed watching their ultimate fruitless efforts and commitment to extending his life.
I couldn’t help but think of the difficulty they had accepting the death of their hamster a couple of years ago. (They also lost a guinea pig that was very small and very lonely; he just seemed like he didn’t want to live w/o a roommate.) They cried and asked “why?” so many times. As painful as it was for me to see them so upset, they emerged from this pain with a greater understanding of how life can be so fleeting. And, it was likely some of those lessons that were helpful to them as they threw their hearts into trying to solve the frog’s dilemma. As I admired their efforts, I couldn’t help but ask, “Where did my little girls go?” As a frog begins as a tadpole and grow into adulthood, I see my girls swimming/hopping along life’s path gradually becoming the young ladies they were born to become.