Friday, January 27, 2006

Kermit in Crisis

Frogs are cool, especially for kids. Unless you live in the Amazon basin, they are completely safe. As far as I know, they are not carriers of harmful disease. They eat flies and mosquitoes. They live around water. And best of all, they jump, which for any child is simply captivating to watch.

As a kid, my friends and I frequented a small pond in the woods behind my house, continually circling the water’s edges trying to catch frogs. We were the ultimate juvenile suburban hunters. But since we also would get into trouble with our mothers for getting our shoes wet, we usually just ending up bashing the poor frogs on their heads with large sticks. Not that this always kept our shoes dry, but it was exciting none the less.

It was just one pond. The worldwide frog population probably needed a little thinning anyway back then.

Now I read these two articles, and I am riddled with guilt over my past amphibian atrocities.

Toads are exploding in Germany.

A third of all amphibians are at risk of extinction due to pregnancy tests.

Today, I offer an olive branch to Kermit and his brethren. I promise that I will try to teach my children not to brain little froggies. All I have to do now convince Leah that boys and dirty, wet, stinky shoes are an unavoidable fact of life.