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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Heartbreak and Horny Toads

Tragedy has struck our home. I'm actually feeling a little sick right now. And They don't know about it yet. They're all sleeping soundly in their beds, dreaming of motorcycles, football, and horny toads.

Speaking of horny toads, let's talk about animals for a minute. I am not what you'd consider an "animal lover". I don't hate animals, I just view them as animals. Not people. They have a place, and if they stay in it and are good little animals, we get along just fine. I've even been known to develop a fondness for good pets, like our dog Rosie, and Prissy our cat. I also feel that pets (of some type) are like a right of passage for children.

Then there are the pets I have no toleration for. For instance, if it stinks, requires live food, has a living space requiring cleaning, or provides no actual physical interaction with my children (why do people have fish??) I want nothing to do with it. Our late pac man frog (rest his stinky, worm/cricket eating, BORING, un-touchable soul) fit all these categories. Thankfully, we acquired him late in his life and he didn't last too long. When he left us for froggy Heaven, I vowed I was finished with amphibians and reptiles forever. Watching them eat is not thrilling enough to justify all the previously mentioned setbacks.

Then came the horny toad.

Last week my brother inherited a baby horny toad. We're talking infant here. Roughly the size of a quarter, he ran from any prey bigger than those tiny little sugar ants. Even I had to admit he was kind of cute in that baby-horny-toad-way of his. My brother instantly offered to give the little guy to my children. How noble of him. Couldn't he have asked the mother first? I of course, immediately stomped out all their dreams of horny-toad-ownership with some callous statement like, "Absolutely not, never ask again, we will not EVER own another frog." Within a day or two, my brother found a loophole.

"We're going camping," he innocently said. "Could you babysit the horny toad? We already showed the boys how to feed him."

What could I say? Being the nice sister I am, I could find no justifiable way out, and so I said yes. The parting words from my brother were "just keep him till the boys get bored..." Yeah. Right.

Then a surprising thing happened. I began to grow kind of fond of the itty bitty baby. He was cutish, and unlike stupid Fat Albert the pac man frog, the boys could actually handle the horny toad. And horny toads don't stink. Much to my children's delight, I decided maybe we could keep him after all.

Little Horny made his home in a small, tupper-ware type container with a little sand and a rock. To keep him away from the smallest members of our family, he was (shrewd readers will notice the use of PAST tense here) kept on top of the fridge. Just yesterday I walked by and noticed the container was too close to the edge, where it would fall if the freezer door was opened. I pushed it back and made a mental note to talk to the boys.

Today I had a baby sitter. For dinner she made my kids frozen pizza.

Later, while I was doing something REALLY important (like playing on my computer, i.e. blogging) my older boys asked where Little Horny was. A little red flag went off in my head (and was just as quickly ignored), and I sent the boys back to bed.

A little while later I went into the kitchen to hunt for a nighttime snack.

I opened the freezer.

I screamed. (Okay, I gasped. "Screamed" just sounded way more dramatic).

There, IN THE FREEZER!!! was Little Horny's House!!!

In an instant I realized what must have happened. Baby sitter opens freezer door to remove pizza. Tupper-ware type container falls to the floor. Being fifteen and just a little bit not-so-smart, baby sitter fails to realize the container IS NOT COLD and places it BACK?! in the freezer!!!

Poor, poor Little Horny. Do you think there's any chance the little guy will thaw out? It was only four and a half hours or so...

And poor, poor ME! You all must know what I'm in for tomorrow morning - a majorly loud, majorly long, majorly miserable session of much weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth. I guarantee you it will not be either pretty, or peaceful in the Baxter household tomorrow morning. The dread is currently sitting in my stomach like a rock. I feel terrible.

If something like this had to happen, why couldn't it have happened to Fat Albert? Then I could have secretly rejoiced, which would have given me extra strength and stamina for the bouts of teeth gnashing. As it is, I feel terrible. He was just a baby! I actually LIKED him! Now I'll be tempted to get another one - and it probably won't be free.

So anyways, that was my stinky evening. How was yours?

13 comments:

alotalot said...

Frogs can hibernate...you still have a chance!

Lisa

by AnnieValentine said...

Don't frogs get cold all the time? Aren't they, like, cold blooded? I'll bet he loved the freezer. It might be his new vacation home.

Darn all those cute babies, they lure us in with their cuteness. I promise he'll grow up to be just like every other male. Horny.

Jen said...

No can do ladies. We're talking frozen solid! He did thaw out - it didn't help. Poor little Horny is dead:(

McFarland Family said...

Finally, I know someone with the same attitude about pets that I have. You sound a little nicer though. My husband has a dog that lives here. I don't have anything to do with it's care or maintenance.
currently, we have this tiny frog. Our neighbor bestowed it on us a couple of weeks ago. Yuck. Yucky tank, yucky food, yuck. I tried to dispose of it immediately. Was not allowed to. It's just sitting on the kitchen counter in a small-sort of tank-thing. I wish it would leave. Nobody even asks about it, or looks for it anyway. Do you think they would notice? Thanks for the idea, I'll put it on the top of the fridge.

Jen said...

Mcfarland, you make me laugh! I too claimed ZERO responsibility for the pac man frog. This no doubt contributed to his demise when my husband and children grew forgetful of him (despite my reminders). That just sounds so heartless. Please don't judge me people, I warned them ahead of time.

Kelly said...

Sorry to hear about Horny, I am sure the kids are devestated. Luckily I haven't had the talk about animal heaven yet. To date we've had a fish and aquatic frogs, both took trips to watery worlds after I realized my kids DON'T CARE~

Is your next trip to a pet store, i.e. horny toad section?

Kpetes-draggin said...

Jenny, Poor Horny in the freezer. I know all about pets and heartbreak but usually not so small as a frog. I have a funny one. One time we found a nest of baby mice, not funny and I was catching them and sneaking them to the cat. Well, one of the girls found one in the barn, injured and the drama started (I couldn't admit what I did) and they babied it a while and it died and there was a funeral. It was all quite funny-in a sick sort of way

McFarland Family said...

I'm tagging you. See my blog so you can expose all of your quirks.

soyandrue said...

Well....it's hard to commiserate when I really don't like pets either -- and frogs? Are you kidding me?! I guess they're too big to flush down a toilet...

And speaking of toilets...just for fun, check out my friend Ashley's blog - The Stahle Daily Dizzle -- for some wet-your-pants-funny advice on the care and hygiene of cats. You will DIE LAUGHING!

McFarland Family said...

I guess I should have let you in on who I really am, or was.

Marivic_Little GrumpyAngel said...

This is so funny even though it's somewhat heart breaking at the same time. The worst pet experience we had was with a hamster. I hated that thing, but my son loved him. He died in my care while son and Dad were on a trip so I empathize with your predicament :-)

Kristin said...

You can't see me right now, but I am frowning, furrowing my brow, and even have a little lump in my throat. As soon as I have a moment of silence for little HT, I'm calling the ASPCA

Jodi's Ramblings said...

My kids went with Dad on an outing and came back toting two baby squirrels. I freaked out at first because I thought they were some other more horrible member of the rodent family and with that less than auspicious beginning, I refused to even look at the things(I have a horrible fear of certain rodents that must-not-be-named). Well, long story short, despite my kids sort of best care, one of them died. So, I spent several hours holding sobbing children. Then spent lots of phone time trying to track down some sort of squirrel "rescuer" to take the other one. Because it turns out it is against the law to have a squirrel. (Do ever think that maybe the lawmakers have way too much time on their hands? A topic for another day...) Anyway, the other baby squirrel went to a better home which the husband had to drive an hour to get to (and hopefully has learned his lesson about dragging stray animals into our home). And the dead one? Um, we haven't had time to bury him yet, so he is ironically enough...in the freezer.