TooBusyLivingLife suggested that bloggers start revealing their childhood traumas every Tuesday. At first I thought to myself “nah, I had my problems as a kid, but overall my childhood was pretty good compared to other people’s.” Especially compared to TooBusyLivingLife’s.
But then I started trying to come up with events that could be considered ‘trauma’. I searched for ‘pain’ and ‘suffering’ in the Google of my brain, and the search results were somewhat surprising: Frogs. Frogs frogs frogs. Frogs all the way down.
I used to love hanging out in ponds and swamps. One day, I went to the local pond with a nice red bucket, hoping to catch me some wildlife. I came across a puddle full of hundreds of little tadpoles. Perfect! I could get a bucketfull of tadpoles, bring them home, and watch as they grew into pet frogs. I’d finally have some friends!
I brought them home, watched them grow for a while, then got bored and went to watch Thundercats or something. The next morning, I stepped outside to witness the horror in the bucket; hundreds of dead tadpoles. Cut down in their youth, before they could even grow legs, and it was all my fault. I’ve blocked out what they looked like, but I still remember the smell of stale pond water filled with bloated rotting pre-frogs. I will always associate that smell with death. Funeral homes remind me of buckets, ponds, and that smell.
I didn’t learn my lesson, though. I remember bringing a giant bullfrog home and putting it in a big metal bucket. To keep it from getting away, I put a screen over the top of the bucket. The next day, the frog’s face was mangled. Red and white with blood and infection and pus. It had tried escaping, hopping its face against the screen over and over until its nose was gone.
The worst frogtrauma happened a few years later. During recess at school, I came across a couple of aquaintances squatting over something at the edge of a forest. I went in for a closer look just in time to see a lit firecracker in a tiny frog’s mouth. I still remember with crystal clarity one of the guys saying “look, he’s smoking” and the rest of them laughing. I turned away before hearing the pop.
There was an assembly * after recess, and I avoided sitting near the kids who murdered that frog. I was shaking with anger, wondering how anyone could laugh while they killed an innocent living thing. My anger was directed at the kids, but maybe subconsciously I was also a little angry at myself for all the pain I’d caused frogs in my lifetime.
This post is dedicated to the familes of all those tadpoles I killed long ago. Keep on hopping.
* Remember assemblies? Do they have those any more, or do they just send the kids an email with news and motivational messages?
P.S. Above is a picture of a dead frog found in someone’s bag of frozen peas. There’s a trauma for someone to blog about.