The Cambrian

Kathe Tanner: Jumping frog hits trail

If you ever get goosed by a frog, grab a lingerie bag. This escapade began when I saw a very obvious half-dollar-sized smudge, spot-lit by sunbeams, on our cherry-wood floor. I went over to wipe up the blemish … but it hopped away.

Oh great. Playing “chase the frog” was not on my to-do list.

I hollered for Husband Richard, who checked it out from a distance and said something to the effect of, “Sure enough, it’s a frog.”

Grand. Now that we’ve agreed on the species, honey, what are we going to do about it?

He requested a colander, flashlight and a towel, which I thought was an interesting combo.

I sidled up to him and handed over his weapons-of-choice. Then he tried to sidle up to the frog. Note: Mens’ size 12½ shoes don’t sidle well.

As he reached down to trap the frog under the strainer, the reptile jumped. Husband Richard sidled some more and the frog scooted under our long, sectional couch.

Flashlight in hand, my 6-foot-tall spouse tried to make like a contortionist leprechaun and look under the low-slung sofas.

Yup. It was pretty funny…until the frog jumped out right at me.

I did a pretty good flat-footed, screaming high jump, if I do say so myself.

The equally startled frog dove under the couch again. OK, it was time for the big gun: The dust mop.

Goodness, we had dust bunnies under there that were bigger than the frog! How embarrassing (not that the frog cared).

I swiped with the mop. The frog hopped out. I took a step toward it, and the frog hopped back.

We continued this minuet for quite a while, until Sir Frog decided not to come out, no matter what we did.

As we waited, I perched wearily on the hassock next to the couch.

Suddenly, something pushed forcefully against my rather substantial backside. It was the frog, trying to es-

cape through a small gap between the footstool and couch. Which was where I was sitting.

This time, I did a flat-sitting, horizontal jump.

Richard gave me a “10.”

The astonished frog dove under an easy chair,

crawled out and up on some greenery, then slipped under another chair.

We continued our pursuit until the panting, puffing critter wound up clutching the leg of a table in the corner, no doubt wondering how the heck to get out of what he’d gotten himself into.

He obviously didn’t understand that was what we wanted, too.

Finally, I snuck away to get my real secret weapon, a net lingerie bag that keeps my socks and undies together in the washer while protecting them from mean old zippers and hooks.

It was stealth time. Husband Richard crept up on the frog from one direction and I, with net bag in hand, came in from the other.

Poor frog didn’t know who to watch. And bingo! I got ’im.

I carried bag-and-frog outside and gently put them on the sidewalk.

The bag jiggled, and the dazed frog jumped out and away.

Later, Son Brian said, “Mom, I don’t think that’s the way the legend works. You’re supposed to kiss the frog, not the other way around. Does that mean you’re a princess now?”

Um, I don’t think that was the smooch location the legend had in mind, son.

How had I known to grab the net bag? We’d used one in rescue mode before, after a hummingbird came inside for a visit, flew into the top corner of the highest skylight in the house and flapped there for dear life.

Long story shortened: Son Brian climbed a ladder, gently coaxed the hummer into the corner with a broom, snagged the bird with the net bag and handed his bundle down to me. I slowly went into the garden and unfolded the bag.

The tiny creature sat on my hand for a few moments, leaving me wondering if it was OK. The iridescent hummingbird turned, looked at me, touched its beak to my thumb and then zoomed off to the bay tree.

Trust me: That’s a whole lot better than being kissed on the butt by a frog.

E-mail Kathe Tanner at ktanner@thetribunenews. co m. Read more “Slices” at