The tiny frogs jumped, hopped and skipped over the table and down on the floor, while Starsky desperately tried to keep the remaining ones contained in their tank. He had thought it so cute when the tiny tadpoles had started to develop legs. Unfortunately it had also meant that they climbed so much better, and the tank cover had seen better days. Who knew they could get through those tiny holes?
He muttered under his breath and silently cursed Molly and Kiko's biology project. And their teacher. And the school-board. And Hutch for agreeing to take care of the frogs while the kids were away on a trip. And the frogs for developing hind legs just right now. And the tank cover. Stupid tank cover.
"Huuutch! They're getting away!"
As they had just returned home from work, Hutch had steered directly towards the kitchen, wanting to put away the groceries and start dinner. Now, called by Starsky's frantic cry for help, he stormed into the living room, pistol raised.
"Hutch! Help me. They're all running away!"
Hutch eyes frantically searched for intruders, and he moved slowly into the room, senses alert.
"Starsky, are you hurt?" he barked, hoarsely. Starsky might be a hundred percent again, but Hutch could never, ever, forget how close he came to losing him.
His heart beating wildly, Hutch scanned the room again and finally noticed Starsky's hunched stance by the fish tank. "Oh, God, Starsky, you don't mean it was only the frogs?" Relieved, he started to walk towards him, only to be stopped by another frantic cry from Starsky.
"Stop! Hutch! You're squishing them!"
Too late Hutch heard the soft sound and felt‚ something‚ under the sole of his left shoe. Oops.
"Hutch, for God's sake, could you come over here and help me? They're all trying to escape. And please try not to kill more of them."
Sheepishly, Hutch removed his shoes, putting them out of the way in a careful manner. The tiny frog was now hardly more than a blob attached to the sole of the shoe.
They spent the next hour finding a heavier cover for the tank and collecting as many as the tiny frogs they could find. It was amazing how far they could crawl. Both Starsky and Hutch became much better acquainted with the dusty corners and crevices of their home than they had ever thought they would.
"Achoo!" Hutch sneezed. And again. Now Starsky will want us to do a spring cleaning, he thought, feeling tired already.
After they had searched everything twice and couldn't find any more frogs hidden away, Starsky carefully removed the dead frog from Hutch's shoe. Then he made Hutch dig a tiny grave for it in the garden and, with a solemn prayer, Starsky put the frog into the ground. Hutch was glad he could help, as he had noticed how Starsky had become attached to the small animals.
Hutch was glad, too, that Molly and Kiko were returning tomorrow. They could help with the spring cleaning that Starsky had just announced.
The frog thought the same, as it slowly pushed away the soil with its tiny, webbed feet. Doomed to many years of half-life as a zombie frog, it slowly struggled its way through the grass towards Hutch's birdbath. At least the sacrifice worked, it thought, and straightened up a little. The rest are safe and the prophecy fulfilled! The thought that it had not given up its life in vain, warmed its heart and its steps quickened as it began to think of the nice, crunchy flies and the cute little lady-frogs that awaited it in its new life.