Thinking of frogs turning as handsome princes can be very charming indeed—except perhaps for the old wives' tale that kissing them causes lip warts (or is there such a tale?). But after my Bio lab class today, I’ve realized a singular idea: catching nine frogs is overwhelmingly exhilarating. And awfully messy.
After the lecture class was dismissed, we headed to the laboratory. But by we, I mean, myself, Juanchi, Weggie, Ciara, HK, and the Beautiful Group of Psychological Ladies. I knew we were going to do the dissection of a live frog. I had no qualms about it: I pretty much did the same thing when I was in grade school (and I even distinctly remember a classmate who felt cold and nauseous after seeing the frog’s blood—apparently, she had the morbid fear of blood). And so, with nothing else bothering my consciousness—okay, I was desperately longing to head back to my dorm and sleep the entire afternoon off—I placed my things on my table, and waited for Ma’am Sumugat to dish out the instructions. The attendance wasn’t complete yet: maybe some just went to the CR or ate a quickie luncher (if brunch is breakfast-and-lunch, luncher is lunch-and-dinner—cool, but that’s just my invention).
Like a heavenly vision, my lab instructor came in and addressed the entire class. “I need two men to catch the frogs.”
HK, my Korean classmate, immediately raised his hand, and he did so with zeal that I wondered, “Maybe he was born for this.” In contrast, I had no plans to catch any amphibian that afternoon.
“No, HK, you’re too big to get inside the cage (or was it a pen?),” Ma’am said.
And then I looked around and saw, to my dismay, that aside from HK, Juanchi and I were the only sperm-producing organisms in class. Where were the other men?
“You mean, we’re going to catch the frogs?” I asked Juanchi. The answer was affirmative. “But I have no gloves.” Then, a classmate, good-natured and kind in heart as she was, offered to lend her pair. She has small hands—hence, a small pair of gloves. It didn’t fit Juanchi when he tried it. I mean, if he’d forced his hand inside it, it would have been torn apart. And so I tried it in mine. In my mind, I was hoping it wouldn’t fit, but it did. Perfectly.
I’ve been naturally selected to catch the wretched frogs: not just one, but all nine of them for the entire class to vivisect.
And off we went. There and then I saw it: the cage with all its horror and evil tidings and yes, the frogs.
“Kinakabahan talaga ako,” I said.
I went inside the small hole, edged my way to get farther in, and saw them sleeping. Well, they looked like they were sleeping because some of them were inside the spaces of hollow blocks lying on the floor. Some of them were merely lying in one of the corners oblivious to the fact that someone—that’d me be—would sentence them to death for the sake of scientific progress.
It was a conscious effort to prevent myself from shrieking. But I reminded myself that I was wearing gloves. Sometimes in life, even the minutest details could spell the difference between being able or failing to accomplish what you’re supposed to do.
The most difficult part was the moment before I actually got hold of the frog. “Will it wiggle? Will it urinate at me? Will it run? Will it bite me?” But, by God’s grace, I managed to grab the first frog. And it surprised me immensely that it didn’t panic, but remained calm in my comforting hands.
Just when I was about to rejoice at my premature victory, I realized that there were still eight more to be caught. By God’s grace, I was able to catch them all.
It was a froggy-frog-frog, froggy-frog-froggy afternoon.