Friday, January 7, 2011

The Day I Brought Tadpoles Home From School

Once upon a time, I was a little girl with long blond hair, big brown eyes, and way more energy, creativity, and devious thoughts than any adult could possibly handle.

From ages 6-11, I attended a horrible, dreadful prison camp that most people called Elementary School.  They made us take terrible tests, made us do horrible homework, and ran us ragged in gym class.  But it wasn’t all bad.  There were a few perks in prison life, such as the following:

1) I got to see my friends 5/7 days of the week.  WOOHOO!

Exuberant Friend Tackles should not be attempted with or without adult supervision.  Also, no children or animals were hurt in the making of this cartoon.

 2) Fun games in gym.  Oh, the fun play days in gym!  There was crab soccer, dodge ball, and a parachute game that I went stark-raving mad for.  All of the children stood in a big circle holding the edge of a big, brightly colored parachute.  The gym teacher called out instructions and we gleefully bounced it up and down and watched waves ripple across in slow, lingering motions or whip so fast that the fabric snapped.  And then the best part of all began.  We thrust it up high, high in the air as we could get it and a few lucky children would get to run in and play as the outside ones held the air in.  There was always enough air and room for safety, of course, but it never dawned on us that there were any suffocation hazards in this game.  Oh no!  Death?  Injury?  Danger?  Wha-what are you talking about?  Get out of my way!  There is great fun to be had!

3) Then, the most amazing splendor of all: R-E-C-E-S-S.

My hair totally looks like an Herbal Essences commercial from this view in real life.  Really.  I have super powers.

A child’s love of Recess needs no explanation.  It’s a break in school where she doesn’t have to do work, gets to go outside, can run, jump, and scream like a chimpanzee without reprimand—err, sometimes, at least if the teachers aren’t looking—and with all of those aforementioned, like-minded, half-crazed friends.  Who could imagine such luxuries could be mine!?

We went through several fads and phases on that playground.  Pogs came and went, as did Pokemon cards (Gotta catch 'em all!).  Jellies did, too, most likely because they were super cute and fun until the tiniest pebble wiggled its way into them and you started screaming and jumping around like someone was murdering you because apparently that teeny, tiny little pebble had magically transformed into a boulder inside of your shoe and was now attempting to crush your poor foot.

One particularly interesting phase involved tadpoles.  It had rained on our lovely little playground and here, there, and everywhere were puddles full of those dark squirmy little shapes that we came to find were tiny little reptiles that would someday transform into frogs. 

That's supposed to be me leaning over a puddle full of tadpoles...I'm not sure how clear that is.  I will get better at drawing these, promise! :P

Well, the ones that managed to escape us, that is.  You see, our small, undeveloped child brains understood certain basic concepts like: animals need to breathe.  We also knew that fish and animals that lived in the water got their air (oxygen, a word perhaps foreign to our first or second grade minds) from the water.  So, as we understood it, if a tadpole had water, a tadpole could live.  Nothing else required.
It is with this that you may understand why our tiny, undeveloped child brains decided to scoop up and keep these tadpoles in ziploc bags.  How brilliant!  We could keep them as wonderful little swimming pets!  How fun!  How smart!  Why those ziploc bags would hold in some water for them without leaking out!  Eureka!

We merrily sealed our ziploc bags and tucked them away in our backpacks, squirming with delight all the way through our afternoon classes as we waited to get home and play with our new friends.

That's how my mother found a bag of very dead, very smelly tadpoles in my backpack.  And again, the next day, and again and again for several days until the puddles dried up and my mother begged me not to bring home any more dead, smelly marine life.  Poor woman, trying desperately to hold on as I chipped away at her sanity.

 Some people say her scream was heard for miles.  That's a rumor.  Other people say that I left it there for her to find and be traumatized by on purpose.  That's a worse rumor.

Whatever the truth might be, that's the end of the story about the day I brought tadpoles home from school, and the reason why Mom can't pass a backpack without screaming, "NO!  NO!  NOT AGAIN!"


Obscurity and a Competence said...

My brother had a little bit of a fiasco with marine life, too. When we had goldfish, he understood that freezing things was supposed to preserve them. So, he took his goldfish, stuck in the freezer, and left it for a few hours. Later, when it thawed...he was a very sad boy.

Catherine said...

Lol, I can just see your poor mom scratching her head, wondering where the hell you came across tadpoles, and how did you manage to preserve your lunch's ziplocs so pristinely!

Great story =)

ladylavendersays said...

LOL. I'm still laughing from your post. I can just imagine your mom's expression. Loved your post. Keep them coming.

Ashley said...

@ Obscurity and a Competence - Wow. Poor boy. That's kind of cool, though, a frozen goldfish.

@ Thanks! And, yes, poor mother. If she used such language, I believe "WTF?" might have covered it. lol.

@ ladylavendarsays - Nice name. :) And, thank you! I'm glad you liked it.

sugarmouse said...

LOVE your illustrations! :D :D they're awesome. what programme do you use to draw?

Ashley said...

@ sugarmouse - Thank you! I just use MS Paint. I haven't really drawn anything there in a long time, but I used to make those little dolls that were so popular on the 'net, way back when.

beanditch said...

Nice Mean Girls reference at the end. :)

Ashley said...

@ beanditch - THANK YOU. lol. I was wondering if anyone noticed. I'm thinking not, or no one else thought it was funny. I'm hoping the former.

Amelia Rice said...

Lol. This is so funny.

Car Title Loans said...

Better a tadpole than a frog like I did! What a story; I don't know how mothers put up with children of the 80's/90's, because I know I was a devil.