While crawling under the front step this morning to retrieve a dog toy, I came across a toad who had been lodging under a board. The thing took one look at me and hopped away.
This brought me back to my days when I was a much younger guy. Back to the times when me and my best friend Ricky used to play together.
Our favorite pastime, (besides building go-carts) was catching frogs. We didn’t really do much with them afterward, other than to transplant them in various ponds and rivers in the area.
Ricky, with his speech impediment and his stuttering couldn’t pronounce ‘Frogs’. He called them ‘Fwogs’, which made me snicker and giggle (to myself of course, didn’t want to hurt his feelings) every time he pronounced the word.
We fashioned a makeshift net (a few onion bags tied together, surrounded by a hoop made from a coat hanger) and arming ourselves with each a flashlight, we waited for the sun to go down.
Once the sky was black and the night was among us, we would head for a small swampy waterhole just outside the community and get ready for our adventure. The air was alive with the sounds of the Fwogs, as they burped and ribbeted. When we got close, everything went quiet. Ricky opened our five gallon bucket (the one with the holes drilled in the cover) and waited for me to spot a fwog.
I noticed a lump in the water, and after shining the light towards the lump, I illuminated a big one. (They always freeze in bright light) Using our net, I scooped him up and dumped him in the bucket. By night’s end, we had collected over fifty green reptiles, and were happy to head home with our prize.
The next day, we spent several hours dispensing our fwogs into various water holes. At the end of the day, we figured we had done the world a favor, spreading fwogs across the entire area.
Today, most ponds and rivers are abundant with frogs and toads. Neither of those creatures are native to the province. Apparently, back in the 70’s, an experimental program brought these creatures into the province to help get rid of a certain insect that was damaging the trees. The little green devils were put into specific areas to battle insect infestation. We did our part in spreading the population to different areas. I only wonder what impact our contribution to the experiment had on the environment?
Dad insists that today, we have far less mosquitoes and black flies than we did before the fwogs got here. I would like to think that me and my childhood friend Ricky played some part in this.