Polly Wolly Doodle
A few months ago I got this harebrained notion that I wanted to raise tadpoles with Nico this summer. Not for any major reason, other than it seemed like it might be a fun, easy thing to do that he would like. We had some at work last summer and it was really neat watching them transform into frogs over the weeks. I bought a 10 gallon aquarium off Craigslist for five bucks and started hopefully eyeballing puddles and murky swimming pools, but to no avail.
Then today I was at the bait shop to buy a dozen minnows to feed to the snapping turtle we keep at the office. The shop we usually go to is a tiny rundown mom-and-pop type operation alongside the highway. There's usually at least one boat somewhere on the property, despite being miles from the nearest body of water. The proprietor is pretty much exactly what you're going to picture when I tell you he's a 60-something guy who runs a ramshackle bait shop alongside the highway. When he handed me and my coworker the bag of minnows for the turtle, he told us he'd thrown in a free polliwog, too. "You know what a polliwog is?" he asked, and we replied that we did but were shocked to see not a cute, twee little tadpole swimming with the fishes, but rather a stonking huge mean-looking sunken-eyed four-inch-long bullfrog tadpole. I called dibs on the tadpole and rather than feeding him to the snapper, my coworker kindly scooped it into a to-go cup for me once we got back to work.
Since setting up the tank is the boring part, I waited until Nico was in bed and then got everything ready. I used some dechlorinating drops from work and filled the tank about half full, then put the new pet into it. I must admit, I'm feeling a bit of consternation over how much tadpole crap was in the bottom of the travel bowl after only five hours. I hope this thing doesn't turn out be higher-maintenance than expected. Oh, and we're apparently supposed to feed it boiled lettuce.
It's ridiculous how excited I am about this. If Nico is nonplussed when he sees it tomorrow I will probably be sad. I hope I'm not setting myself up for failure. (It's okay, tadpole, my kid thinks you're lame but I still think you're the coolest!) And as a highly amusing bonus, the tadpole scared the crap out of the dog while I was typing this out just now. Indy wandered near the tank and then did a full four-feet-off-the-floor startle when he saw the tadpole moving around inside its tank. He gave it the side-eye for a few more seconds and then sidled off upstairs to sigh deeply over my poor taste in spontaneous roommates. To be fair, it is kind of an ugly mug.