On Sunday evening, in preparation for their return and in the knowledge that we'd all need coffee as usual the next morning, I rode the golf cart over to the park's water 'machine' to refill our gallon containers (ex milk jugs) and the large 3 gallon 'bottle' that goes on the cooler unit we keep for drinking water.
It was just after 6pm and darkness was falling. It's at this time when dozens of tiny frogs come out from wherever they spend their day (where DO they spend their day ?) and sit on the driveway waiting for something to happen to them. They sit and look very cute and then........they sit a bit more. When it gets too dark to see them, they probably all leap on each other and have rampant and violent sex but I don't know this for sure. It's one of those 'boiled kettle' kinda things.
"A watched frog never mates" or something along those lines.
The problem, mostly for the frogs, is that if we need to use the golf cart or worse still, for the frogs again, the car.....then sitting on a driveway is not the best place for them to be. I think Mother Nature has failed them in this respect as although sitting on a driveway makes it very easy to spot a potential mate, the downside is that it also makes it very easy for that same mate to become a flat mate. And I don't mean in a "moving in together" sort of way.
I mean in a "wow I fancy her and I think I'll hop over there and........offs" sort of way.
When I set off to get the water (and before you ask, yes we do have perfectly serviceable drinking water from the taps here but we prefer the 'treated' stuff that has all the nasty natural elements removed and replaced by totally unnatural elements instead !) the driveway was clear.
On my return, only about 20 minutes later, I encountered a scene of plague like proportions.
Biblical in fact.
There was simply no clear route to the cart's parking spot up near the outside power point as it needed to be recharged overnight. I stopped out by the roadside and tried to move a few frogs. This was no easy task as, in Maggie Thatcher fashion, these frogs were 'not for moving.'
I poked; I prodded; I failed. Miserably.
Short of actually lifting them and relocating them on the grass, they were obviously set for an evening of passion, froggie style, once we weren't looking.
So I moved a few onto the grass and managed to clear a path to the house. But by the time I returned to the cart, they'd hopped back onto the drive !
The next 5 minutes can best be described as a frog version of that spinning plate act we all saw back in the day. The performer, aided by his scantily clothed female assistant, would set plates spinning on a line of flexible poles and keep us all in a state of cruel anxiety by running back and forth along the line to keep the initial plates spinning whilst adding more to the end.
I do believe that watching this act during my formative years was fundamental to at least one of my heart attacks in later life. I'm convinced my heart was weakened by the stress I experienced never knowing if the very first plate would fall to the ground whilst The Amazing Plato was down the other end adding 'a plate too far.'
I always feared that the scantily clad assistant, having been refused a pay rise, would simply add an extra plate/pole to the act, thus ensuring that the initial plate would topple off its pole to loud gasps from the audience and mortification for the bemused El Plato. He would never be seen on tv again and be reduced to spinning the roulette wheel at Barnsley Working Men's Club on Saturday nights.
Anyway back to the frogs. Remember them ? Yes well as fast as I moved them to the grass, they'd hop back onto the driveway. In the end I had to get to the house in stages. I had to move a few frogs, dash back to the cart and drive it a few feet, stop before squishing any returning frogs, get out and move a few more and so on. It was slow progress but I'm happy to report that no frogs were hurt in the parking of the cart.
Sadly, unlike in a true fairy tale (oi, who am I calling a fairy ???), there was no happy ending.
Pleased with the success of my endeavours, I parked the cart by the house, climbed out.......and promptly stood on a frog.