Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Tadpole Troubles

I'm so nice. (I thought.)

My Facebook post bragged: I just saved over 400 tadpoles from death by shop vac. I deserve a cookie.

Earlier that day, I'd badgered Jay into cleaning out the little pond in our front yard flowerbed. It was filled with algae, rotting leaves, and pollen. But I refused to let him use the shop vac to suck out the water because I passionately believed the numerous resident tadpoles should survive. (Anything that grows up to eat mosquitoes is highly valued in my life.)

Which means my longsuffering husband (who couldn't care less about tadpoles) had to dutifully scoop out about forty 5-gallon buckets full of water and strain them through a fine mesh net so I could find the little guys in the midst of the pond debris. Then I gently lifted up each one with my fingernail and dumped it into a bucket of clean water. 

I tried to count them but lost track around 400. It took us quite a while, but I was immensely pleased with myself when we returned the wee tadpoles to their newly cleaned home.

I will name him Thaddeus Tadpole and he will live for years because I am so nice.

The next night, I recounted my tadpole rescue to a friend.

She: You're so nice!

Me (with false modesty): It was no big deal. Just saving the environment one tadpole at a time.

She: So, what do tadpoles eat?

Me: I'm not sure. Let me look it up... Hmm. It says here that they eat algae and rotting foliage. 



She (laughing): Good job.

Me (frantically Googling): They can also eat tadpole food. This person says Walmart carries it.

She: The closest one closes at midnight, and it's 11:30.


With a heavy sigh, Jay picked up his keys and walked outside.

I'd already changed for bed into pajama pants and one of Jay's old shirts, so I stayed in the car while he went into the store, looking gorgeous and stylish in his skinny jeans and nice button-down. I don't know if he wanted revenge (since he told me not to clean the pond in the first place) or what, but he came back claiming he couldn't find fish food.

Me (protesting): But I'm in pajama pants!

Jay (shrugging): The store is closing in minutes.

Me (with a deep breath): I can do this. It's for the tadpoles...

Fetching midnight shopping attire

You know those memes of questionably dressed people shopping in Walmart that you see on-line? Yeah, apparently, they don't live here. I definitely stood out. Even the security guards raised their eyebrows when they saw me. They probably thought I was sleepwalking and Jay, trailing behind, was monitoring me for my safety.

As soon as we got home, I threw the life-saving sustenance into the water so our tadpoles could have a midnight snack. 

Food falling from the sky!
But I still stayed awake all night worrying about whether or not I got food to them in time. I crept out at the break of dawn to see if any of the amphibious creatures still lived.

There was not a ripple in the water.

I sprinkled out more food.

Not a tail flicker.

Not a moving shadow.


I'd killed them (sob).

In hopeful desperation, I grabbed the net and trolled the bottom of the pond to see if anything was down there.

Thirty-two rudely awakened tadpoles

And found loads of drowsy tadpoles.

They lived! And were apparently so well fed before the pond cleaning that they'd rather sleep in than eat.


I feel I must be honest enough to add that I screamed, "I went to Walmart at midnight in my pajama pants to get you food, so you better wake up and eat it, you ungrateful creatures!"

At that point, someone jogged by and saw me, still in my my pajamas, yelling into a pond.

I smiled and waved, as if this were a normal thing.

Well, it kind of is... in my world.

Verse of the day: (Proverbs 12:10) "The righteous care about the lives of their animals." 


Follow up: My humiliation has resulted in adorable tiny frogs with tails:

To read about another of my overreactions in "caring about the lives of our animals," click here.
To read about another embarrassing moment I endured when attempting to save a baby bunny, click here.


  1. All I can do is shake my head... and smile!
    This is me smiling...



    1. Well, I'm glad it made you smile. The jogger seemed a little alarmed.

    2. Awesome photo! Make me laugh!

  2. You're really in the blogasphere, aren't you? LOL. Gmail just let me know I can read your blogs here, too.

  3. You're really in the blogasphere, aren't you? LOL. Gmail just let me know I can read your blogs here, too.

    1. Yes, I'm immensely popular.

      (In the tadpole world.)

  4. Cheers to the crazy lady down the street! Your neighbors probably salute you 😊

  5. You're really in the blogasphere, aren't you?

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