I was rushing around, trying to get to town this morning and I looked up at the window of the door which leads out onto my office deck and I saw something that chilled my very blood. A frog. Obviously a tree frog. But not one of our cute little native tree frogs. Oh hell fucking no. It was very similar in shape but its size was...well, as big as my palm whereas our little guys are about the size of the end of my thumb.
And then grabbed the camera and went outside and took his picture.
For those of you who are deathly afraid of frogs, forgive me but here it is:
For size perspective, here's another shot:
Yeah, yeah. I know. This is not the biggest frog or toad in the world but let's just try to imagine something that looked very like oh, say, a regular garter snake but instead of being two or three feet long, it WAS THE SIZE OF A PYTHON!
Or a wasp as big as your fist. Or an anole as big as an iguana. Or a squirrel the size of a Volkswagan.
You get my drift, right?
It was just WRONG! Wrong, wrong, motherfucking wrong.
Well I wasn't going to touch it and I was trying like hell to get to town and so I left it where it was and then did the most cruel thing I've probably ever done to my son and called him as I made my way to Tallahassee and described it and had him look it up on the internet. Now, as icky as I feel about frogs, Hank feels a million times more than that icky about them. So why did I set him to this task?
BECAUSE HE IS MR. ANSWER-MAN!
That's right. He is. And so I did it.
As he was looking up pictures and information I said, "I feel like I'm going to vomit. It was that bad."
He said, "I don't think you have to explain that to me."
He also said, "I will not be house-sitting for you during the rainy season. Oh no. You can kiss my ass. I will not be doing that."
Of course he said it in the most loving way possible and I completely understood and took no offense whatsoever.
He sent me the link to a scientist who studies the very invasive Cuban Tree Frog, which is what I thought it was and which Hank seemed to think it sounded like, at University of Florida. This man, Dr. Stephen Johnson, is an expert on the frogs and he has loads and loads of information up online. Go HERE for a start if you have any interest at all, although unless you live in Florida I am not sure why you would.
This is an extremely invasive frog and is eating all of our native tree frogs. Dr. Johnson wants people to report them. He also tells people how to humanely euthanize them. Hank was reading these suggestions to me and every one of them made us groan and retch. I suggested just doing the obvious and calling 911.
Help! I have a giant tree frog! Send reinforcements! Bring weapons! Big ones! Really, really BIG weapons! Bazookas! Hand grenades! You know! Flame throwers!
Anyway, after I talked to Hank, I called Mr. Moon and told him that when he got home he had to KILL THAT FROG!
I went on about my business, but I swear to you, it took at least an hour before my stomach settled down. I took care of my boy and I did some shopping for Mr. Moon's birthday and then I went to Gap and Old Navy where I bought some sweat-shop clothing for next-to-nothing and when I was in the Old Navy Mr. Moon called and said, "The Evil Frog is dead."
Oh. I do so love that man.
He dispatched it with a 22 rifle.
Hey- look- they are bad, bad frogs. AND IF I FIND ONE IN MY HOUSE IT WILL NOT BE A GOOD THING AND THEY DO GET INTO HOUSES AND PEOPLE FIND THEM IN THEIR TOILETS! DO YOU HEAR ME? THEIR TOILETS!
When I got home, I sent pictures and descriptions to Dr. Steve Johnson and I am so hoping he doesn't write me back and tell me that I made my husband shoot some endangered species. I really think, though, that it was the dreaded Cuban Tree Frog because Dr. J's website says that any tree frog over 2.5 inches probably surely is one and that frog was WELL OVER 2.5 inches and yes, I know I am yelling. You would be too.
Spiders, snakes, rabid foxes, mice, cockroaches the size of beer bottles- all of these I can take calmly and rationally but please. The Cuban Tree Frog may do me in. They have toxin on their bodies. They can trigger allergies and asthma. THEY DO NOT BELONG IN LLOYD!
Well, the trauma for now is over, although I feel quite certain that if there was one, there are probably about a million of them out there, just plotting on how to get into my house and clog up my toilets.
And it is raining like crazy which I should be grateful for but all I can think of is how much the Cuban Tree Frog probably loves rain.
And Mr. Moon is gone and the power has already gone out once today and it will probably go out again and here I'll be, in the complete black darkness, wearing my little dorky miner light on my forehead, searching anxiously for Cuban Tree Frogs in the toilets.
Well, that's the news from Lloyd. I know that all of you are even more eager than ever to include our picturesque little village on your next family-fun visit to Florida. Hey people- this IS Florida and what Disney World has to offer is fake, fake, fake and of course, safe, safe, safe. Unless you get stuck in It's A Small World which would be like hell for me. The burning fires of hell would be nothing compared to that. I know that someday we will be going to Disney World with Owen but I will NOT be on that damn ride. That's what mothers and fathers are for.
Grandmothers are for going to the Pirates of the Caribbean, riding on the teacups and buying children ridiculously large lollipops. Grandfathers are for...KILLING CUBAN TREE FROGS WITH A 22 RIFLE!
I'm pretty sure it says all of this in the Bible somewhere. And if it doesn't, it fucking well should.
Love to you all...Ms. Moon