The Zoo

June 06

The Zoo

The Zoo, in case you didn’t know, is a very educational place.  I’m glad, for the most part, that we went today.  As A~ is approaching the age of 10 she is becoming more aware of certain aspects of nature, and I’m glad she’s learning about them, gradually, among some of nature’s creatures rather than the old fashioned way:  on the playground and from overzealous elementary teachers who don’t understand the term “age appropriate.”

If you’ve been reading my blog since last summer you may remember the bug & otter post.  Progress has been made since that early October day.

“Mom, why is that one frog sitting on that other frog’s back?” the oldest two asked me today. 

“Well . . . I said, I don’t really know a whole lot about how it all works with frogs, but I think . . .”

“Ah.  They’re mating,” A~ said matter-of-factly.  “I get it.”

And I believe she does.

But here is what I don’t get.  There were about a dozen of these itty bitty, bright orange frogs in their little man-made habitat, and not one of them was moving.  Not. One.  Well, o.k., one did move ever so slightly, as if it were time for him (or her?) to strike a new pose, and then all movement stopped.  They were like little statues.  Or little, over-priced plastic frogs that one could undoubtedly find in the zoo gift shop if one were so inclined.  But I don’t think the plastic frogs come in voguing poses.

All over their little world these frogs were frozen on rocks, in the pond, under plants; this one with its nose turned slightly upwards, that one with its right front leg held up, still another with its neck stretched as far forward as froggily possible, another in a slightly squatting position, yet another stretched way up on it’s teeny tiny froggy legs, and still more in a variety of other frozen poses.   I swear these frogs were voguing.

Except for the two that were, very stoically, copulating.  Did I mention, not one of the frogs was moving?  Not. One?  Yes, it was incontrovertibly the most boring sex in the animal kingdom, and the otters would have been appalled.*

And George, if you’re out there, Tewt the Newt says hello.

*So you’re wondering how I know these frogs were making babies and not just casually resting one atop the other.  Who’s the cynic now?  Anyway, the answer is that I don’t know for sure that is what they were doing.  However, due to certain positions of certain parts of their itty bitty orange froggy bodies, it seemed like a safe bet.  I could get more graphic and say something tacky like, “I haven’t seen a frog leg spread like that since the last time I ate at a French restaurant,” but the truth of the matter is, the last time I ate at a French restaurant I didn’t order frog legs.

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