(The appropriate music for this story)
My parents have a waterfall pond in their back yard that is home to a few goldfish, and is visited by a wide variety of birds. The goldfish came from the New Mexico State Fair where you can win goldfish by throwing ping-pong balls into small globes that look like fishbowls. My sweet mother’s first attempt at adding store-bought goldfish to the pound failed; she then received a hot tip that “carney (carnival) goldfish” were the best kind. So, armed with my dear dad and uncle, my sweet mother went to the fair and came home with several carny goldfish. Cole named one of the goldfish Fruit Loop. Along with his fish siblings, Fruit Loop lived peacefully with the birds that visited the fountain for many years.
One day, my sweet mother went out to feed the fish and was shocked to find a dead gold finch in the pond. At first, it looked like a simple case of drowning but, on further investigation, it became clear that the gold finch had been murdered. The goldfish denied any wrong doing and a suspect was hard to pinpoint until one day the unmistakable sound of a large bullfrog was heard coming from the direction of the pond. Soon after, another gold finch was murdered. My sweet mother was furious. Clearly, the dastardly bullfrog had not only moved uninvited onto a lily pad in her pond but he was also eliminating carefully cultivated birds one by one by drowning them when they flew down to enjoy a sip of water. She told my dear dad, “that bullfrog must die.”
Dear Dad felt that perhaps they should try capturing the bullfrog first and relocating it. My sweet mother did not buy it; you see, my dear dad is not much of a trapper. There was the time he tired to catch a feral neighborhood cat with an elaborate cat trap but only managed to lure the cat close enough to eat the trap’s food and endear himself to the next-door neighbor, who gave him a forever home. Then, of course, there were the garage rats he refused to poison; he captured them in a no-kill trap and took them out to the countryside, only to have them invite their friends and return to dine on my sweet mother’s beloved Porsche’s electrical system. Knowing the bull frog had to be eliminated quickly to avoid any more killings, my sweet mother said, “Pa, get your gun. That bullfrog is a low down, goldfinch killing reptile and must die before sundown tomorrow.”
When a man has a face-off with a bullfrog, there is only one place for that man to go: Wal-Mart. Dear Dad headed straight to Wal-Mart and bought a bull frog killing gun. My parents own guns (which my mother reminded my dear dad of when he returned home) but, of course, dear dad did not have the right gun to kill a bullfrog. Isn’t that how it always is? Never the right tool for the job.
Dear dad did a little research to determine the best time to catch the bullfrog sunning himself on his rock and at the appointed hour, my sweet mother hummed the theme song to Liberty Valance, as my dear dad headed out to the patio and pointed his gun towards the pond and waited. His patience was rewarded when the bullfrog hopped out of the water onto a rock to sun himself.
Dear dad is a very good shot.
The bullfrog was dead before sundown, the birds flew down to sip water from the pond, Fruit loop swam happily, and my parents enjoyed a cocktail on the patio.
Everyone, except of course for the bullfrog, lived happily ever after.