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Frog - The Ballet of a Stubborn Toad
Before the Daunt
The sun was up, bright and hot. Nothing like the last 5 days of wind blown hail and rain. Finally, the earth's nutrients, moisture saturated, began to nourish the weather beaten vegetation. Flowered straw hat proprietors anxiously attended their gardens to evaluate possible damage from the monsoon. Children bored of video game suppression, Lego fatigue and baby doll mania filled the streets with bikes, balls and scooters. Neighbors, protective of their investments, released vehicles from the safe haven of garages to reestablish driveway trophy position. The neighborhood propelled into activity faster than the sun could dry the sidewalk.
I, myself, was "central air" suffocated and yearned to get into the nice weather. My pet had been absent from a walk since the rain began. Rain was not his favorite. During the rain, he used the back yard for a quick release. Bolting out of the door in front of me, he stopped just before stepping into the grass, accepting the warmth of the sun against his face, put his nose up in the air and allowed the slight breeze to flap against his ears. Locking the door, I too stopped to accept the warmth of the sun against my face, put my nose up in the air and letting the slight breeze flap against my ears; like dog like owner.
By the time we returned, we both were overheated; he panting and me sweating. Although the temperature was rising, the weather was indeed wonderful. I could not help myself from looking around at the blue sky as I unlocked the door. Once inside, I plopped the keys in the designated key box. Then, I realized I'd forgotten to get the mail.
My dog's rhythmic lapping of water from his bowl reminded me of my own thirst. A quick walk to the mailbox and then I will quench my thirst with freshly made lemonade already chilling in the frig. Opening the door to the wonderful weather, I again could not take my focus away from the beautiful blue sky. Walking down the driveway, I could see the birds returning to nearby trees. Looking into the mailbox I was happy to see it vacant. Too good of a day to be reading over mail.
Walking back to the front door, I began to see the lemonade cascaded over several ice cubes. With a slight grin, I looked up as my hand reached for the doorknob. I stopped, frozen in my tracks, unable to lower my arm or remove the gaze of my eyes. I was about a foot away from the door. I gasped as my entire body reverted from calm to fear.
An Unwanted Guest: Godzilla
Sitting, perfectly content, at the seam where the door met the frame was a little green tree frog. It was so close to the handle it was impossible to grasp the latch without disturbing the creature.
My heart rate increased, pupils dilated, a chill and static sensation cupped the back of my neck As the hair began to rise on my neck, my brain told me to get as far away from the door as possible. My pet, who was looking at me through the blinds, began to whimper. When he saw me back up, he tilted his head as if to say "What the heck is the matter with you?" He always looked cute when he made that gesture. But at this point in time, that cuteness did nothing to calm my nerves.
What was I going to do? Neither the desire to get into the coolness of my home nor the enjoyment of a tall glass of lemonade mattered. This frog narrowed my world to just it and myself.
No more frightening was Godzilla, a reptilian dinosaur infused with nuclear radiation who swam across the sea to rack havoc along the Japanese shoreline. This frog, long distance ancestor to the same mythical monster, was my Godzilla and I was the Japanese shoreline. In my mind, it was here to destroy me, disrupting my calm presence to that of extreme fright then fight. I look to the sky and said, "Where's Mothra when you needed her?"
Birth of A Phobia
Years ago, I moved to a tropical environment to get away from big city crime. A safer environment for my children is what I wanted. You don't see frogs in the big city unless as a student in Biology class. That was my very first encounter in facing a frog. The dead, much larger frog than what I faced now, didn't bother me at all. I eagerly grabbed it and pinned it to the dissecting tray. As I remember, I was quite intrigued by both the dissection and discussion; not to say the handsome teacher who taught the class. All in all, it was a pleasurable experience.
Then there was the time when I was introduced to a cuisine of frog legs. It didn't bother me. They were quite tasty; more like fried chicken. I always looked forward to returning to the restaurant to revisit the entrée.
It wasn't until the time, when we first moved to our tropical location, a frog got in the apartment. Myself and my oldest son were home. I was in my 30's and he was in his mid teens. We saw the frog on the floor and when I approached it with a broom, it walked up the wall. Walked up the wall? Neither my son nor I knew of a frog's ability to walk or defy gravity. All the frogs we'd ever seen merely hopped. But walking up a wall. And thus, with the shock to my senses and the high girlish squeals coming from my son, a phobia was born.
Here we go again! Big ole me and tiny ole it!
Weapons of Choice
My options were limited. I didn't have my keys to get into the back door. Procrastination in changing the battery was the reason the garage door would not open. Good landscapers removed the probability of finding a rock. No one else was home to hear my call for help. And having a dog with no interest in learning the trick of opening the door made me hang my head in despair.
As I dropped my head, the only available weapons came into view. Wood chips outlined the house by design. I began throwing one wood chip at a time. The lightweight arsenal hit everything except the frog. My thoughts searched for other possible weapons. Just then, I turned my head and saw the coiled water hose laying next to the garage.
It wasn't my intention to kill. Just to lure it away from the door was my only desire. Sweat streamed down the side of my face. It didn't help my nerves to now be paranoid that another frog may lay near the water valve. I slowly tipped toed through the grass walking toward the water spicket. .For some reason, the song by Sting came to mind and I began to sing the lyrics to, "Every move you make..."
The feat in getting the hose and turning the water on was simple. Raising the nozzle, I aimed directly at the lime green adversary. My determination was shown as my nervous projection was right on target. I just knew, in a couple of minutes, I'd be greeted by my dog as I opened the door.
But, the cold-blooded vertebrate hung tightly to the frame. Five seconds later, what seemed more like five minutes, it dropped to the door's threshold. All I needed to do now was to use the water to persuade it to hop to the nearby bushes. It bucked and bellowed as it pushed from the door and projected itself sideways landing in a wide legged squat on the opposite side of the door. The hint wasn't obvious and I could see it was going to be stubborn about learning which one of us was the boss.
Maybe the current water flow wasn't delivering the desired message. It received, "Hey Buddy! Here's a nice cool shower to rinse you off on this nice hot day." My intention was meant to be more of a police state type of message. "Back up 50 feet from the premises or you will be handcuffed and taken to the nearest snake bin!"
To get the complete force of water flow, I pulled on the hose to remove any bends. However, as this was an old hose, the pull ended up creating a bend causing the water to seep out of the nozzle. I remembered the infomercial about the Flex Hose and wished I'd participated in the offer. Something I will store in my back of my mind and attend to directly after this experience. With another tug, the bend was freed and the water rushed to regain strength. Changing the setting on the nozzle, I was ready to go back to battle with "The Thing." One of us would be the victor.
As I gained control of the hose, the creature remained in the position it last landed at the bottom of the door. Hopefully, just a few more sprays would persuade it jump into the bushes. Just a few more feet to the bushes and then I'd be on my way inside. I changed the pressure of the nozzle for a more aggressive stream.
I returned to my target and sprayed the frog following every move it made with a continuous blast. From one part of the door to another, it walked, jumped, sat, and basically refused to remove itself from my path. I did everything in my power to create a directional wave of water to stir the amphibian into the nearby bushes. But the toad had it's own agenda. I could not help but to see this effort as a performance in a real world theater.
Soon, I came to the realization what I was actually attempting to do was to drown the thing. I suddenly said aloud to myself, "Idiot, you can't drown a frog!" The reason why the water wasn't affecting it because it was actually enjoying my ineptness. So what was I to do?
I was hot and tired. From the time I'd left the house to get the mail, twenty minutes had rushed by. Tired... tired... TIRED! Everything gets tired I thought. Even this annoying little toad would get tired. My focused changed from trying to direct the frog to jump into the bushes (and the unconscious effort to drown it) to making this frog so tired it would just give up and allow itself to be washed away.
Renewed with a more energetic hope, I kept the center of the stream directly on the frog. It, again, hopped from here to there, often leaping in a graceful (yet ugly) manner, landing with varying attempts to keep hold of it's territory. Seeing it transform into many different positions from jumping to landing, I felt classical music, to the tone of a piano concerto, would be an excellent accompaniment to this performance.
I stayed vigilant to the task. The frog began to tire. It no longer tried to lay claim to the door but remained in the walkway in front of the door. At one point, I could not see it so I removed the water. That's when I saw it looking directly at me. I quickly returned to my "death grip spray" and just continued to spray the area where it stood.
The frog became so tired it turned belly up as it could no long withstand the force of the water. As soon as I saw the white of it's belly I stopped spraying. I felt like I had won the lottery. All I had to do now was sweep it into the bushes with the water. Then it flipped over again and looked at me with eyes of true hatred. I could have sworn I heard it say, "I'm gonna hop into your dreams and get you!"
I quickly sprayed it again not stopping until I saw it had flipped over again. This time, it remained flipped and I thought it was dead. I stopped the water. I stared at it for another second and again, it flipped over and looked at me.
"You son of a bubble-eyed yellow sapsucker!" I screamed.
I sprayed it again and again. This time, I did not stop when I saw it had flipped over for the third time. I kept the water on it and created a whirlwind type of flood against the wall. This washed the toad down the walk and into the bushes.
I didn't even turn the water off. I ran into the house and slammed the door. I raised my arms, and did the "Rocky Balboa" victory dance as if I had ran up the stairs in the movie. It had been an hour since I had left to get the mail.
I drowned my thirst in the lemonade I'd been dreaming about. I wondered if that frog had come back to the door to reclaim it's stake. Or, had it gone on its way through the vegetation in front of the house? Was the water bill going to be higher since I left the water running and would not be turning it off until someone else came home? Did my dog understand I was not trying to create a river? Were my neighbors watching and wondering what is that crazy lady doing? It didn't matter. I had escaped.
And you may wonder how I got pictures of the frog jumping? Well, I forgot to say although I didn't have my keys, my car was parked in the driveway and I always keep a camera in the glove box. I just kept clicking because I thought this would make a good topic for a hub. By the time the event was over, I had over one thousand photos and was able to pick out the best for this hub. Unfortunately, the photos were not taken with a zoom so I did my best to pinpoint where the frog is in the included video below.
Frog - Ballet of a Stubborn Toad
How to Get Rid Of Frogs
Frogs are actually good for the environment as they aid insect control. However, people with frog phobia or ranidaphobia, are very serious about exterminating these creatures from their living space. Others who do not suffer this same experience dismiss the fear as a frivolous reaction to a tiny creature. For the Ranidaphobic, the fear is very real. For this reason, there is a constant search on how to rid frogs from homes. Unfortunately there is not concrete method in getting rid of them. And if you live in a tropical environment, you might as well learn how to live with them. Here are a few tips I have learned:
- Don't live near water.
- Keep water from pooling around your home. If you have a pool, just welcome the frogs!
- If you live in an apartment, living on the second floor can help.
- Keep your yard and patio area free of clutter.
- Buy a snake unless you have snake-a-phobia.
- Live in a big metropolis city where your problems are rats and mice. (I'd rather deal with frogs myself as they are seasonal.)
- Kill the bugs: Frogs feed off of other insects. If you get rid of the bugs, the frogs will have little to eat.
- Salt or salt-based water: Lay table salt around where frogs tend to sit or mix it with hot water to create a spray. The salt burns their skin. They will not want to land in or hop through it. WARNING: Salt will kill vegetation and may damage paint.
- Vinegar or a citric acid mixture will burn their skin. Fill a spray bottle or large water gun with white vinegar (100% strength). WARNING: Any acidic liquid such as vinegar or citric acid will kill vegetation and may damage paint.
- Get a big water gun and fill it with salt-based water or vinegar and carry it in the trunk of your car (for those extreme emergencies)
- Allow your dog or cat to bite frogs as they may be poisonous to your pet.
- Think you have gotten rid of the frogs and they won't return.
Cause For Immediate Heart Attack!!!
- Overcome the Fear of Frogs (Ranidaphobia) - The Ultimate Self-Hypnosis Cure.
Cure your Fear of Frogs. Hypnosis MP3 download plus Self-Help Phobia Guide by Glenn Harrold.
- Fear of Frogs - Help for Fear of Frogs - Phobias | FearofStuff.com
There's a new movie out called Princess and the Frog. Many people are flocking to theaters to see the animated flick from Walt Disney. Others?