“Help! Help! It’s killing it!” Wyatt is screaming through the half open door. I can see the panic in his eyes and face. It makes my heart drop. A list of things being killed goes through my mind. The “it” causes me to instantly think it must be the cat.
I jump from my seat and follow Wyatt to the small fish pond beyond the house. He stops and is pointing to the rocks around the edge. “A snake is killing our frog from the pond!”
An instant sense of relief fills my body. I breathe a sigh and reply, “Phew, only a frog!” But when I look in his face I can still see the panic. I walk closer to the edge and see the frog.
He is a big frog, about the size of a baseball, and his whole leg has been swallowed by a small garter snake. The snake’s muscles are rippling as it tries to force more frog into his throat. From our viewpoint, it is a very futile effort. The best he could hope for is the frog’s leg to come off because it is as big around as the snake. If it hadn’t been so disturbing, it would have been humorous, like us trying to eat a whole cow leg first.
“Dad, do something!” Wyatt is now staring at me.
“What do you want me to do?” I reply while my mind tries to think of something. All the while my pathological fear of snakes is in the background. Even little snakes make my skin crawl. “I am surely not touching it,” I think to myself. I reach for a stick and press down on the snake while grabbing the frog. The snake squirms and reluctantly lets the leg slide out of his mouth. The frog is stunned, his leg still outstretched. It has some scratches and a cut on it.
“Will he be okay?” Wyatt asks. The frog is slowly pulling his leg back to his body.
“Yeah, he will be fine, just a little scratch,” I look around for the snake but it has slithered off into the garden, hidden among the foliage. I hear a small splash and with that the frog is gone too. It’s just me and Wyatt standing there.
Wyatt looks up and says, “Well that was exciting!”