When you tell someone you are originally from South Africa, they hear Africa – the place where wild animals roam the streets, lions explore your back yard and people dodge elephants on their way to work. Growing up in South Africa was nothing like that. To see lions and elephants, we travelled to wildlife parks to observe them alongside other tourists. Smaller animals and critters avoided our suburbs at all costs.
This week, as I dealt with The Frog Situation, I was again reminded of how different life in the States is – even when you live in the suburbs of Atlanta. We got use to deer grazing our lawn and snacking on our “deer resistant” plants. We often watch the squirrels jump from tree to tree and occasionally, the coyotes will walk by the house and up the road. I’ve even seen foxes, possums, armadillos and snakes in our neighborhood. But never anything inside the house – I’m not counting the half-dead critters the cats “gift” us with from time to time. That all changed this past week.
Let me tell you about The Frog Situation. My story takes place in the bathroom – if you prefer non-bathroom stories, this is where you should stop reading 😉
I was working upstairs in my office and needed to take a quick bathroom break. As per my normal routine, it is a matter of taking a seat and quickly do what you’re there for. So I got up, turned around and there it was – a frog sitting on the side of my toilet. The inside, that is!!! Not something you expect to see and it definitely gave me a big fright. Now, I’m not afraid of frogs – I see them in the garden all the time. But in the garden – not inside my toilet, three stories up!
I’ll admit, I freaked out a bit and immediately called for help. Pieter wasn’t home, so Simon – my teenage son – came running. He did not expect a “frog in the toilet” situation, to say the least. By now Sidney also showed up and the three of us stood there staring at my toilet, and the invader in it. Time for an extraction plan – we will scoop it up and release it in the garden. Outside. Where it should have stayed in the first place. Sidney went downstairs to fetch a plastic container to use in the frog extraction.
As we were preparing to go in (plastic container and an old toothbrush in hand) the frog started to lose his grip and slipped slowly down the side of the bowl and into the water (the just used toilet water). Now we were not only freaking out but slightly grossed out as well. We poked around with the toothbrush and the plastic container and instead of getting in, the frog swam away, and into one of the water inlets at the front of the toilet!
At this point, I told Simon to just go ahead and flush it. It must have come up the drainage pipe anyway, so we’ll just send it down that way again. It can swim, it won’t drown. So he pulled the handle… As the water started swirling, the frog was flushed out of his new hiding place, but then it refused to go down! It jumped out of the way and then completely out of the toilet! Here it hopped around a bit and Simon was finally able to catch it when it hopped into our shower.
So the poor frog was finally released in the garden – who knows how much psychological damage it is dealing with. As for me… I double check before sitting down now. And I might even be a little faster when using the bathroom now. Never again will I be surprised this way!
Life in the States – you never know where the wildlife will show up next!!!