onsdag den 7. oktober 2020

WfW - 7.10 - A Lesson in Cryptozoology

Today, as all Wednesdays in October, Mimi at Messymimi's Meanderings is posting the prompts - she actually did so yesterday my time, much appreciated. Today we are given:


   And as I had premade a lot of posts, I actually have 100 drafts at the ready DNB will not deter me this time even if the double line spacing from just pressing Enter is totally awkward and unnecessary.
  Here's another story from The Unicorn Farm:

The green team was gathered in the larger of the downstairs classrooms. On the centre table stood a huge aquarium, or terrarium maybe as it was only one half water, the other part was sand and firm ground with small branches and plants.
"Are those genuine Toad kings?" Kalle asked, his tow-haired head almost touching the glass pane to the aquarium, where a giant toad and a much smaller one sat looking back at him. They were alike, if you did not look at their size, flattish, wart filled bodies in mottled green and brown colours, green heads with silver and gold markings, that could look like crowns if you knew they were supposed to. Their eyes were liquid gold with dark brown slits. The big one, the lady toad, Susan supposed, opened her mouth, snatched a single woodlice from a piece of bark with her sticky tongue, pulling it in with something resembling a grin.
"Oh yes they are," Taavi answered, "And their eggs are about to hatch." Your homework for the coming week or two will be to keep a tadpole alive and thriving. You'll have to have at least one live tadpole each by the end of the second week."
"Will they have those golden eyes as well?" Anna asked. She was as blond as her brother, and also used to magical animals. They lived in a tenement in the suburbs of of Stockholm, but their grandparents had a farm, where magical creatures was known to be seen.
"Yes," Taavi answered. "Golden eyes tend to dominate, but now and then a tadpole with silver eyes hatches. They should be special, but if it's true or superstition I don't know. Maybe we'll find out in the coming weeks."
"Look at the eggs! They're moving!" Anna said, jumping from one leg to another.

Taavi distributed small nets on poles, and told the apprentices to fill small containers with water.
As the tadpoles began hatching, Taavi showed them how to scoop up the tiny creatures with the net, and transfer them to a water-filled container. "I want you to catch a couple or three each. You'll probably need a spare or two."
As Susan caught three of the tiny, comma-shaped things, their mother looked at her with her eyes of pure gold. "I promise to try and take good care of your babies." Susan muttered.

"For a first, you can feed them with a pinch of the fish-feed from the jar over at my table," Taavi said, "but after that you'll have to embark upon a research on King Toad tadpole's diet in your school books and those at the library. And," he added, "you'll have to bring the tadpoles with you, because we'll be using this classroom for something else in the weeks to come."

Terje dropped his container while trying to put the third tadpole in it. Of course he cut his finger on one of the shards, as he tried to pick them up.
Hilde looked at him with disdain, and picked up the tadpoles and shards with a sweep of her wand: "Don't bleed on the carpet, she said with an absent look in his direction. Go to the sink. And let Taavi mend that cut!"  She put the tadpoles in another container and placed it on the table. "They'll survive." she said. 
Taavi sent a surprised look in Hilde's direction, but he quietly mended Terje's bleeding thumb with an adept move of his wand and a short command in Finnish.

Half an hour later Susan, Terje, Knud, Rósa, Kalle and Anna sat round one of the tables in the library. Each with a container filled with water and lustily swimming tadpoles and a book or two in front of them. Veronika
Veronika, Kirstin, Hilde and the two Birch sisters, Josta and Marja were likewise occupied at one of the other tables.
"Hey, listen to this," Knud said reading  aloud from the book in his right hand: "When the King Toad tadpoles get older, they turn cannibalistic, the larger eating all weaker or lesser individuals, so that only a few, select individuals eventually reach maturity."
"Ouch, that was a good-to-know information," Kalle said. "We must have all of them in separate bowls, before they get eaten. Who knows if one of them smaller ones is not the silver-eyed variety. Too bad to have such a prize eaten."
Kalle and Anna ran for containers. Luckily the cupboards in the Stables were filled to the brim with receptacles in all sizes and materials. Among those a large shelf of miniature fish bowls. Perfect for this project. Susan got a jar of water and some mud from the pond just outside the Farm. They decided on natural water, but Anna fetched some pure water a the pump as well. Mixing it should be OK, after what Kalle had found in one of his books.

It was a delicate affair, and the handling of Toad King tadpoles had a steep learning curve, but before the day was over, they all had at least the beginning of a plan about how to care for their tadpoles.

7 kommentarer:

  1. What a wonderful lesson. And no, you really don't want to let your tadpole develop a taste for your blood.
    Yet another great story, and I forgot to look for the 'words' which is a tribute to how well you used them.
    Sigh at losing Legacy Blogger and thank you for the extra time with it you gave us.

  2. Now I want a Toad King Tadpole. (A tribute to your amazing work with the words today!)

  3. I like the story very much. It remembers me of my childhood experiments with frog eggs. Tadpoles really hatched from them, which was a surprise for me. Another surprise was that mom allowed us children to occupy the bathroom washbasin for a couple of days.
    The childhood penchant for tadpoles has never left me. I even organized an "expedition" with my preschool grandsons to catch frog eggs and put them into a large pail to hatch.

  4. 'Don't bleed on the carpet' - that makes me laugh. Great use of the WFW prompts, not that I was looking.

    Have a lovely day.

  5. Well done! Thank you for sharing your gift of storytelling with us.

  6. Great story. I've never had any experience with tadpoles, I have just seen a few in creeks long ago. I hope ALL their tadpoles survive and become king toads.

  7. Thank you all for your kind and encouraging comments. You and your encouragement mean a lot to me.