Tiny Frogs

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tinyfrogs1.jpgLast spring, we discovered tadpoles, otamajakushi, in a nearby park. We watched them develop and took delight in stopping on our way by to peek at them. In Tokyo, you have to enjoy the little details of nature when you can find them.

Needless to say, we were surprised and disappointed when they vanished. It was shortly after they started to bud legs, but before they were fully developed into frogs. Maybe a cat ate them or perhaps schoolboys had carried them off in jars. We didn't know.

tinyfrogs2.jpgSo this year, we've been watching the new crop with interest but expecting another vanishing act. Only they didn't vanish. Instead, we caught them in the act of escaping the pond.

Dozens of miniature frogs, no bigger than a garbanzo bean, struggled out of the water yesterday afternoon. They weren't hopping, exactly. They were more like froggy toddlers trying to keep their balance without toppling back into the pond.

They lined up along the border between the water and the land. Waiting for something, but what?

6 Comments

My guess is the Pana-wave people, but I could be wrong.

Remember looking for tadpoles in the valley? I just had to explain the concept of tadpoles turning into frogs to a group of 4th graders. I was astounded that none of them had ever seen a tadpole.

What about snakes? I spent part of my afternoon chasing snakes away from the frogs in my backyard. They hear the frogs singing and come for lunch. My guess is that you will probably lose more of your frogs to snakes than little kids with jars.

Snakes may be a problem in some places, but only MJ has ever seen a snake in central Tokyo.

Oh,friends, I must tell you there are plenty of snakes in cetral Tokyo. I dind't know about it untill I experienced a guided tour in Ueno Zoo. Someone asked the Zoo keeper at the Reptile pabilion, "Where do you get common snakes you just said you feed these cobra snakes from?"
And the keeper said, "There and here, everywhere in the Ueno Park. They are easy to catch."
There must be plenty of them.


I loved the tiny frogs! They inspired me a poem that I immediately added to a book of haiku I am working on:


Life of the pond
The frogs are swimming back
Tadpoles frogward


What can be more Japanese than haiku poems about frogs? Please, enjoy some samples:

A bonsai pond
A tiny frog jumps in
Blip!

An old pond
The frog: "to jump or not to jump"
That is the haiku

- I can croak
- I can croak better
The frogs

"Croak croak" "Kheiro-kheiro"
The frogs too speak
Different languages

Cold winter day
The pond is iced
The frogs croaked

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