07 April 2009
Saving the Planet, One Tadpole at a Time
Our smaller, upper pond is the most vulnerable. It's shallow and full of tadpoles. The other day we saw a perfectly content frog, as big as my fist, sunning itself on its edge; a proud infanticide. After we read about tadpoles in his illustrated encyclopedia (you know, the part where it says that most of them don't survive because the things that brought them into this world also like to eat them) Hank has taken it upon himself to capture and transfer them to the lower, less active pond. Though deeper and bigger, the other upper pond already has four or five fully grown frogs doing their best to devour all their offspring. In his almost-five years, I've never seen Hank so focused or patient.
He stands above the water quiet and concentrated. Days seemingly go by until you hear a shocked shriek followed by thrilled laughter. He'll often yell out, "I got one!" before quickly heading for the lower pond, laughing as the squirmy, slimy tadpole tickles the palms of his hands. He'll bid the tadpole goodbye as he lowers it into the pond, offer it luck, and remind it that it was just saved from the big frogs. Then he will return to the small pond to start the procedure over again.
It's Springtime in Switzerland and finally it feels like it's all coming together. Our possessions have arrived; the house is settling into its place. Our car is here and it still runs. Hank is much more comfortable in his surroundings and so are we. Never thought I'd say this but I'm glad that winter is over. It seemed an especially long and hard one this year and I ain't talking about the weather. The mud, slush, and gray skies that dominated the landscape on our arrival to Geneva didn't help ease the transition, either. But now with flowers, blue skies, and tadpoles, the world is starting to spin a little more smoothly.
And, yes, skiing will return as well. An Easter weekend visitor should help kick things back into gear. She seems to possess an intrinsic ability to find good snow. After all, home is where your skis is and, for now, they're here. In the meantime, we'll save little creatures from certain doom, smell the flowers, and enjoy the good life. No more big bad frogs in this pond.
(If you can't see a small, blue square and triangle that resembles a play button, go here and follow directions. Installing this will allow you to read and listen to music at the same time--like a real live multitasker!)