16 August 2006
SETI League
PriUPS Project


A Cup Of Frog

I don't want to say that my community is unusual, but...

A bit over a year ago, on a warm summer day, the doorbell rang.  It was my across-the-street neighbor, or at least the female half of the couple, accompanied by one of her human children.  She had a request:

"May I borrow a frog?"

I fancy myself to be reasonably unflappable, either because I'm quick witted or simply stunned.  Unable to decide which to be in this case, I did what I often do:  I asked my housemate.

"She wants to borrow a frog.  OK?"

"Sure, as long as she brings it back."

Whew!  That was easy!  Downstairs we went to the frog pond.  "Help yourself" I said to her and to her child, and returned to doing whatever it was that I do.

A few hours later she returned the frog.  I was disappointed to learn that our frog did not win the contest in which it been enrolled.  No, I don't recall the details of the contest, but I assume it was somehow related to "hopping."  Apparently ad-hoc frogs are no match for the larger, highly-trained ones possessed by the more avid contestants.  This year there was no request.  Perhaps the contest has been discontinued.  Or her child has his own frog now.  If I find out I'll be sure to do a follow-up.

Richard Factor