This may sound like the beginning of your average princess-kisses-the-frog, frog-turns-into-a-prince, they-live-happily-ever-after kind of story. I promise you it is not your average fairy tale and I have never in my life put my face anywhere near a frog… voluntarily. This the not the story of a princess but rather a very curious student teacher who finds herself with a front seat full of live animals she would rather not handle once they are grown…
Once upon a time, there was a student teacher named Miss Haley. Miss Haley was the kind of lady who loved exploring the world and learning new things. She often bit off more than she could chew when it came to these learning adventures. She had once bought seeds to grow a Venus Flytrap and that lead her on an expensive journey through the life and times of carnivorous plants. Unfortunately, those seeds did not grow but she did end up with a live flytrap that she now has to touch tiny worms in order to feed but that is a story for another time. Back to our current story.
Miss Haley’s class recently began studying the life cycle of frogs. Frogs are not her favorite animal. In fact, Miss Haley doesn’t really like any animals that can touch her on their own free will. She likes fish and going to the zoo because it is a great way to study something and learn about it without having what she is looking at make any sudden movements and touch her. Miss Haley dislikes frogs because no matter which direction they are facing they can always jump at you and touch you. But Miss Haley is a curious person and curious people often find themselves in exactly the situation they would rather not be in.
Her curiosity and the curiosity of her students prompted her to make the decision to volunteer to remove frog eggs from her father’s pond and bring them into the classroom. She was all ready, with a scoop and a little clear bucket, to fish out some eggs and bring them to school for the remaining few days the students would be studying the life cycle of frogs. When she arrived at her father’s pond, the eggs were gone! “Where could they have gone?” Thought Miss Haley. So she called to her father; who rushed outside to see what was the matter. Miss Haley explained that the eggs were missing. Her father looked into the pond.
He told her, “The eggs are gone because they have hatched! Look closely at that rock. You can see a tadpole.”
So, Miss Haley laid on her belly on the edge of their deck and leaned toward the water until her nose almost touched the surface (Miss Haley should have been wearing her contacts that day). When she spotted the tadpole a new idea popped into her head, “I will take tadpoles into my classroom instead of eggs. The students will think that is quite interesting.”
So Miss Haley’s father scooped out some tadpoles and Miss Haley gathered some rocks for them to swim with. She then leaned over the edge of the pond again to dig through the weeds to see if she could find some not-yet-hatched tadpoles to bring in with the hatched ones. She found a small clump of eggs and placed them into the tank with the swimming ones. As she continued to swirl the weeds around, she caught a glimpse of something out of the corner of her eye. She looked over…
A massive, slick, slimy, greenish-black, beady-eyed bull frog had popped its head above the surface not far from where she lay. She nearly choked herself on the wire around the pond there to keep unwanted predators out when she sat up quickly trying to get away from it. It did not move a muscle but Miss Haley’s heart was pounding faster than ever before. I suppose curious people who put their faces that close to ponds with live animals in them would have a near-heart-attack experience every once-in-a-while.
She called to her father who brought the big net. He caught the big frog with the big net in one quick scoop. The frog flopped and hopped in the net but could not seem to escape.
Miss Haley knew she could not take in the large frog for her students to see, so she decided to take several videos of the frog to show the students. The frog eventually escaped during the taping of one of the videos.
Now, Miss Haley had her pail full of tadpoles and a few frog eggs to take into school with her. The drive over was perilous and a bit wet. The tadpoles were bit shaken up as was Miss Haley, nervous she would be cleaning dead swimmers out of her floor mats later that day. Everyone made it school in nearly the condition they had been in before the journey. Adventures come in all shapes and sizes, I suppose.
When she arrived at school she placed the tank in front of her classroom teacher. She told her all about the adventure she had been on and explained her excitement of being able to share the tiny things with the class.
Now, Miss Haley had fully intended to keep the tadpoles at school until Friday afternoon when she would take them back to the pond. Her classroom teacher, however, had other ideas. Long story short, the tadpoles have become a fixture in the classroom and another part of the mini-zoo that is room 14.
There was no kissing of frogs in this tale nor was it make-belief. It is, what I am sure will be, the beginning of a interesting journey I will tell the story of for the rest of my life… or at least until another adventure comes along!