Wednesday, March 21, 2007


Below is a photograph of a Green Tree Frog (Litoria caerulea) which is the second most distributed frog in Australia.

Now, the more observant individuals will have noticed something amiss.

Yes! That Green Tree Frog is no where near a tree!

That Green Tree Frog is sitting on our shower curtain.

This is not an unusual situation. Our family has showered with frogs, on and off, for decades and we don’t like it at all.

Picture this. You are naked, wet and soaped up with one eye on the frog. Now I say frog, as in singular, but that is not always the case. More often than not it is frogs, as in plural.

Showering naked, except for a touch of froth here and there, whilst a frog looks on is most unnerving.

Showering as a frog hops and flops about that small enclosed area is extremely terrifying.

So, as you closely track the erratic movements of these green pests, parts of your anatomy are inevitably overlooked as you hurriedly soap up and flush off the most important bits.

Your only concern is to finish your ablutions before a cool clammy amphibian loses direction and flops upon your naked body.

Now, much has been said about frogs and our environment.

You know that guff about how the presence of frogs and their health and their happiness is a gauge of the health and the happiness of our environment.

Well, in our part of the world, the environment is far too healthy and far too happy with far too many healthy and happy frogs.

There was a time a few years ago when I counted up to 15 frogs of varying sizes in about our old toilet cistern.

Okay, the old toilet cistern did have a loose lid but that wasn’t an open invitation for all the frogs in the neighbourhood to come from far and wide to take up residence in our toilet.

And I am well aware why they have come to live with us. It is all about easy fast food for lazy amphibians.

We live on a farm which means that there are an enormous number of insects that flock to our windows at night, attracted by the house lights.

All these lazy frogs have to do is to flop up out of the toilet and onto the external walls and windows of the house to indulge in a veritable smorgasbord from the insect world.

One year the health and happiness of our environment became more than I could bear so I got a bucket with a lid and I captured a very large amount of these green pests and relocated them to another part of the farm that could offer them water and sanctuary.

It culled the number for a while.

A year or so ago, we replaced the old frog friendly toilet cistern with a brand new unit. I had hoped that the neat fit of the lid to the cistern would mean that the frogs would be unable to take a dip in the cistern and this would curtail their attraction to our toilet and shower room.

Alas, my hopes were quickly dashed. The frogs still live in and about the toilet and shower room.

They also continue to deposit their usual copious amounts of frog poo all about the room.

Today, as I entered the room, I was met with an extremely unpleasant odour. The toilet was flushed so I immediately knew what the problem was.

I lifted our seemingly well sealed cistern lid and my suspicions were confirmed. There, floating about in the water was a decaying frog.

How, when and why it died is of no concern to me.

How I was going to remove it was the immediate challenge.

So I fiddled about the internal workings of this new cistern and finally managed to extract this putrid being.

Then I had to spend the next few hours trying to convince my lurching stomach to calm down and not to throw up my breakfast.

Green Tree frogs are not one of my favourite creatures residing on the farm.


Clifton Writers said...

Please, please publish your pieces one day! Just beautiful (and I agree totally).

Anonymous said...

What I don't understand is why frogs have such a compulsion to pee on us when we rescue them from other animals or from being flushed down the lavatory.
Most enjoyable, thank you.

mawaho said...

Michelle, I agree about the publishing bit. I am sitting here enjoying your stories and laughing out loud. What does a frog poo look like?