I have this friend named Dutch who’s an artist and jewelry maker and all-around character. He’s a really nice guy and we’ve been friends for about a hundred years. Recently, Dutch got some pet Tree Frogs off of Craig’s List. Here is an email he wrote me about them.
“Okay, I know by now everyone is mad at me for writing too many emails, writing too much nonsense about nonsense. I mean, who really cares about a bunch of stupid little frogs anyway? You all have important lives to worry about, you can’t be bothered with little details about little frogs I got for free on Craig’s List.
So, I will write this last thing, and then you won’t have to be bothered with silly frog stories anymore. First I have 3 frogs: 2 green tree frogs and a brown Cuban tree frog. The green tree frogs have small eyes on the sides of their heads. They are the same kind of frog. One smaller one named little Kate, and one bigger one named big Kate. Little Kate doesn’t do much running around, and when you hold her, she doesn’t really do anything. She is kinda sleepy all day long.
Big Kate is awake more, and fast. If you hold big Kate, she tries to run away after a few seconds. Then there is super Kate. Super Kate is the Cuban, she looks completely different then the green ones. she can sit up like the normal frogs that you see on lily pads, or she can suck all together like the green ones do all the time.
Now, Super Kate’s eyes are in front of her, not on the sides, and they are usually half way out of her head when she is active. But when she is sleeping, the eyes are all the way in, and the eyelids have open eye patterns on them so when she closes her eyes, it looks like the eyes are open. Last night I went out and turned off all the lights. When I came home, I turned on the lights to see what the frogs were up to, and I noticed something. When it is totally dark, the frogs can’t see with their eyes in normal positions, so what they do is, they push their eyes out of their heads.
I saw the two green ones with eyes sticking out of their heads and it looked kind of funny, but when I saw Super Kate, her eyes were so far pushed out, it looked like she had huge basketballs on her head, and they were totally black. Usually they are slanted open. But they were just huge big black balls on the top of her head and she was looking around like a nut. After about five minutes, her eyes were back to normal.
Now, I never ever see the frogs moving. They never do anything, they just sit there, but I noticed that every time I looked at the tank, no matter how short of a time, the frogs were in different positions. I read about tree frogs online and it said that it’s kinda fun when you document the movement on time schedules. I tried it and here is what I found.
First, let me tell you, I have a tree branch, a water bowl, some big leaves and a cricket in the tank — the cricket is for whoever gets hungry. Oh, and one piece of a two by four that reaches almost to the top of the screen, about 1/5 of an inch of space is between the wood and the screen.
7.55 pm: Big Kate is on the left wall, Little Kate is under her and Super Kate is sitting on the wood.
8.15 pm: Big Kate is on the wood, Little Kate is on the left wall lower then before, and Super Kate is on the leaf.
820 pm: Big Kate is on the branch, Little Kate is next to her with her paw on Big Kate’s back and Super Kate is under the branch.
8.30 pm: Little Kate is on the leaf, Big Kate is on the right wall and I can’t find Super Kate.
9.00 pm: The cricket came out of hiding and is on the branch. I can’t find any of the frogs.
9.05 pm; Big Kate is on the wood, Little Kate is on top of the wood wedged between the wood and the screen. Super Kate is on the branch and the cricket just walked over her head.
10.00 pm: Big Kate is in the water bowl. I can’t find Little Kate. The cricket is upside-down on the screen and Super Kate is on the wood.
11.14 pm: I can’t find any frogs and the cricket is trying to get out of the water bowl.
1120 pm: Big Kate is on the wall, Little Kate is next to Big Kate, Super Kate’s eyes are bugged out like someone stepped on her and I can’t see the cricket.
12.34 am: Someone started screaming their brains out but by the time I got to the tank they shut up. I can’t figure out which one it was. They are all wide-awake on the bottom of the tank, looking out the front of the glass like I’m the TV set. The cricket is now on top of the wood where Little Kate usual goes.
1240 am: Everyone is missing again, but I see someone’s toes sticking out from under the leaf. It’s one of the green ones. I can’t do this shit anymore. I need a nap.”