A Mower Runs Over ItOpinion
Let’s say you’re out mowing your lawn and you run over an Australian green tree frog. Not that such a thing is likely to happen, if you live in Texas, since Australian green tree frogs are native to Australia. Which is a good thing, I guess. It would be kind of weird if Australian green tree frogs were native to, say, Lithuania. If they were, I’d be wondering why they’re called Australian green tree frogs, instead of the logical name for tree frogs that live in Lithuania: Australian brown tree frogs.
The point is that you’re not likely to run over an Australian green tree frog with your lawn mower in Texas. Although you never know, since Australian green tree frogs have started to fly around on airplanes lately. At least, one of them has. From Mount Isa, in Queensland, to Cairns. Granted, the frog never technically flew to Texas, but you never know. Once amphibians start racking up those frequent flier miles, there’s no telling where they’ll end up.
But we’ve gotten a little off topic again, here, since the premise is what you, being a normal human, would do if you ran over a frog with your mower. You would most likely do nothing. Not that you, as a concerned and caring individual, have anything against frogs, per se, but let’s face it, it’s just a frog. Plus, who would expect a tree frog to be hanging around on a lawn, anyway? I’m assuming, here, that you don’t mow your trees.
Well, a woman named Min Tims, who lives in Mount Isa, Queensland, ran over a frog with her mower last June, which begs the question: why would Min be mowing her lawn during the dead of winter? Isn’t it winter in Australia in June? Still, that’s what happened.
Min felt sorry for the frog, just as any of us would, but Min evidently felt a lot sorrier than most. Because she didn’t just ignore the poor little critter and go on She called Frog Safe, the wildlife rescue and rehabilitation facility in Cairns. Which makes me wonder how often this kind of thing happens, in Australia, if they have a facility to deal with it. Must happen pretty often, I guess.
Not that Australian green tree frogs are scarce, by any means. They’re quite plentiful, actually. The Aussies have green tree frogs coming out their ears. Figuratively, of course. They’re tough little creatures, plus their skin secretes an antibacterial and antiviral liquid, which helps them get well chop chop.
But Min felt so bad about hitting this frog, and giving it a nasty cut on its back, that she contacted Frog Safe, and they arranged things with a courier service, an animal transport company, and an airline to fly the frog 700 miles to the Frog Hospital. It spent about five weeks there, being doctored and recuperating, before they flew it back to Queensland and let it go, with a stern warning to stay out of lawns in the future.
So this is a great story with a happy ending, but it leaves us with a couple of lingering questions. Such as, do the frogs at Frog Safe have to wear short little gowns that don’t close all the way in the back? And do they have to ride in little wheelchairs when they leave?
We’ll probably never know the answers to those questions, like we’ll never know if the lobsters saved by the monks will survive.
I’m obviously referring to the 600 pounds of lobsters that were turned loose this past July off the coast of Prince Edward Island, off eastern Canada, by some monks from the Great Enlightenment Buddhist Institute Society. The Huffington Post article said the lobsters were destined for the dinner table before being rescued by the monks, but it didn’t say whose dinner table. It also didn’t say the monks on Prince Edward Island are vegans, so maybe the lobsters were going to be monk meals. Or maybe they just went and bought them at a grocery store. Either way, the monks decided to let them go. Because they care.
According to Venerable Dan, one of the monks, this was just a nice gesture. They aren’t trying to influence anyone to become vegan. Personally, I’m wondering how you come by a name like ‘Venerable Dan.’ Do monks choose their own nicknames? Or does the head monk name them? Maybe they draw names out of a hat. Either way, Venerable Dan is a pretty cool name, you have to admit.
But the monks don’t just care about lobsters. They want to promote compassion toward all others. Venerable Dan said, “It can be worms, flies, any animals.” Even Australian green tree frogs, I guess, although I doubt the monks see many of those, on PEI.
Me, I’m wondering if there’s a chapter of the Great Enlightenment somewhere near me. And if they plan to release any lobsters anytime soon. And if they need somebody with a pickup to haul the little darlings to the coast. Because I’d be happy to help out. I also think the lobsters would be happier being released into a tub of boiling water than the ocean, though.
I think I’ll start a facility called Lobster Safe, and see if I can’t get the monks to fly the lobsters straight to me . . .
Kendal Hemphill is an outdoor humor columnist and public speaker who has yet to run over a lobster with his lawn mower. Write to him at [email protected].