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Wednesday, July 16, 2008



In between editing takes, we took a day yesterday to remodel the garden. And I am a bundle of aches.

Frog-rescuing has been a feature. We have a small pond in our still-quite-small garden, and as it was getting stagnant and Mika kept leaping into it (anyone who's ever had to wash off a dripping, stinky cat will recognise the domestic upheaval this creates), plus taking up loads of space and being a drowning hazard for any future children we plan to have, we decided it was time to get rid of it. Little did we realise until we'd drained it that this meant we were dispossessing more than half a dozen fully-grown frogs. I hadn't seen any tadpoles this year, so I assumed they'd all gone off to pastures new, but to my deep dismay, this turned out not to be the case. When the water level got down low enough, there they were, handsome green animals all hunching in the remaining water and looking at us accusingly.

Alas, the pond still had to go - among other things, it occurred to us that the main reason Mika kept jumping in the pond was probably to catch and kill them; we'd already found some corpses, so it was hardly a safe garden for them - but I love frogs and my conscience was twinging worse than my lower back.

Luckily we live near a park with several ponds. Out came my biggest cooking pot; I chased the frogs up one end of the pond with a spade, Gareth caught and potted them, and we hobbled down the road to the park, little heads butting against the lid like popcorn.

Finally we reached the park, identified the less heron-friendly pond, and tipped out the frogs. They swam off across the water, kicking their legs with graceful haste, hopefully to a new, cat-free life.

Right now I'm feeling like the villain of some children's novel - Richard Adams is yelling in my head - but at least we moved them to a bigger, cleaner pond. Sorry, froggies. Here's a question: does reading anthropomorphic books as a kid make you more likely to become an environmentalist, or at least a half-assed one who wanders around your local park with a cooking implement? Do loggers just read books about Roman commanders and football stars instead? Or what?

Oh, I do love "little heads butting against the lid like popcorn." Such a perfect snippet of description!
**Picturing the frog chasing episode. Cracking up.**

Thanks for making my day.
Farthing Wood certainly did that to me. And a good half of the other books I read growing up.
Mind, I'm also a half-arsed environmentalist who rescues mice from cats and ends up sending them into a state of paralytic shock.

Congratulations on your prenuptials by the way.
[I have a habit of saying the wrong thing, and think I just did there, but I'm sure you understand the sentiment]
Doesn't sound like the wrong thing to me - thank you! :-)
Hm. So animal-fearin' / economically-reliant-on-animal older cultures had gods that were part animal. The British who have turned their forested natural landscape into an artificial person-scape for so many hundred years that it's practically natural now are in love with animals (the RSPCA equivalents in N. Amer don't have nearly the same public traction, and there aren't whole TV shows about featuring animals the same way), and so wrote a ton of anthropomorphic literature where the animals get sympathetic toad halls and such...

While the americans, for whom everything is a mega project, anthropomorphise anything - machines, rugs, aliens, the whole 9 yards.
They swam off across the water, kicking their legs with graceful haste, hopefully to a new, cat-free life.

You know the old frog saying: "Out of the cat-pond; into the heron-pond!"

Gareth caught and potted them

What sort of ferterlizer did he use?

Sorry -- I guess I'm just in a weird mood tonight.
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