Return of the Frog


Huskyherz / Pixabay

The Inventor loves frogs.

When I say she loves frogs, it might be an understatement. She’s obsessed with frogs.

We have a major farm canal that runs on our back property line. Across the street is a large river. Our property is nestled between two ideal frog habitats.

She catches frogs daily. She plays with them, allows them to crawl all over her, catches them food, builds them habitats, and just generally loves them.

[Tweet “I have one rule when catching critters. They all must go back into the wild at the end of the day.”]


Two years ago I broke that rule.

As we were pulling out our window AC unit for the winter we found a frog curled up in the sill. He had already began to hibernate for the season. The Inventor’s fish had died earlier that week and we had just finished cleaning out the tank.

Not wanting to put the frog outside to certain death, we decided to turn the fish tank into a frog tank.

I had no idea what I was getting into.

He was a very quiet frog at first. We didn’t hear a single croak out of him for the first 3 days. Then, at 2 AM I was awoken by The Inventor. She was grinning from ear to ear. “Mom, Croaky croaks!!!!”

Oh joy. I’m so happy for you. Go back to bed.


He was a very picky eater. He wouldn’t eat standard pet store frog food. He wouldn’t eat freeze dried crickets. The only thing he’d eat was live food. In the summer time we caught him crickets, flies, and all kinds of small insects. In the winter we had another pet cage full of live crickets. They too had to be taken care of, fed, and cage cleaned until they were sacrificed to the frog.

Every now and then a cricket would get out. I cannot describe the thrill of stepping out of the shower and nearly stepping on a cricket. A heart pounding adrenaline rush doesn’t even come close.

It really is something you have to experience to understand.

[Tweet “Croaky was a #frog of the wild.”]

He longed for his days of freedom. He often looked for a hole or crack in the lid. We would catch him hanging from the netting on the lid, looking for any way out.

Valentines Day 2012 he was given a small taste.

I was getting ready to watch a Valentine’s Day movie with my husband after the girls were in bed, I saw a frog hopping across the carpet–how romantic!

The Husband sprung into action to rescue his damsel in distress once again. (He has to do this for me often. Most recently it was When Spiders Attack.)

He caught the mood killing frog and locked it back in jail.


Croaky sulked but didn’t give up. He looked and looked for every opportunity. And then he found it!

He was a patient frog. He waited until sometime last fall. The Inventor forgot to close the lid to his cage after feeding him. He saw the open hole and leaped at the chance.

He dashed to freedom and hid in the corner of her room. He learned his lesson from the previous time. Don’t get caught in open territory. He hugged the walls and hid underneath mounds of toys.

His dash to freedom was successful. That frog had finally made it.


When I cleaned The Inventor’s room last December I was expecting to find a dead frog hidden somewhere dark. I didn’t. We started to think he really had survived his heroic prison break.

Until yesterday.

Dead frog

The girls decided they would like to share a room for the next few years. We spent yesterday cleaning out The Inventor’s room. We piled up toys to donate, organized other toys, found places for odds and ends, and threw away a lot of clutter.

As I was scooping out an armload from under the desk I hear, “Um, I don’t think Croaky survived after all.”

There, in the middle of the carpet was a 1 inch dried up carcass of what used to be a frog.

I picked him up on a piece of paper and headed for the trash. The Inventor had other things in mind.

This was her newest way to investigate frogs. She put him in a bowl and started to look at him. She turned him over and found all his body parts. She asked if she could save him until her dad got home.

This afternoon, she took him outside and proudly displayed him for the neighborhood kids.

I guess we have a museum artifact now.


As for live frogs. I was already considering allowing her to catch a keeper frog for the winter. I was already planning  space for the cage as we rearranged the house.

So when she brought me her latest frog in a cage yesterday afternoon, grinning from ear to ear, begging if we could keep this one it was so hard to say:

No, we don’t have food for the frog right now.

Because inside all I wanted to say was yes and watch her face light up with pure joy.

[Tweet “Keep tugging at those #heartstrings dear daughter. Pull a little harder and you may get your wish.”]


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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kimberly F
    Aug 12, 2014 @ 19:09:27

    I loved this post, but poor Croaky! 🙂



  2. Heather
    Aug 13, 2014 @ 13:38:52

    I love her reaction, so calm and matter of fact. Fits with the name you’ve given her here! Any frogs living in the basement of our previous home would have had a feast. We had crickets year round almost. Great story! Well told. 🙂



  3. Lana
    Aug 13, 2014 @ 22:38:18

    Oh my, this post brought back memories. My younger son loved frogs too (his entire room was frog themed) and caught them regularly. He’s 16 now, but he still loves frogs!



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