Or at least so says Kermit the frog. But really, is it that hard? Let’s think about this for a second. What are the frogs’ desires, tasks, and obligations?
OK, from a non scientific point of view, much of a green frog’s life basically happens around him/her. There is an old joke that goes… “Dad, How smart is a duck?” to which dad replies, “Only as smart as a duck needs to be.” The same could be said for the native intelligence of a green frog. Not the apex of intellectual achievement for sure.
Childhood is difficult. A tadpole is just about everybody’s idea of the perfect little snack. Small, tasty, low in calories, easy to swallow. Pond Popcorn, so to speak. The tadpole has to escape the clutches and stomachs of a predatory population that includes leeches, dragonfly larvae, other aquatic insects, fish, turtles, and herons. The road to adulthood is alarmingly perilous and may take anywhere from 3 to 22 months probably including a frozen winter hibernation for the late bloomers.
In adulthood, a lot of life is centered around keeping warm and eating. Cold-blooded by nature although not necessarily in temperament, substantial periods of time must be spent “sittin in the sun”. On sunny summer days, this probably seems like an admirable occupation but this past summer probably found a lot of cold, damp, inactive, miserable frogs looking skyward for a reprieve from the relentless drizzle. As for eating, “hunter gathers” they are not. Green frogs practice “sit and wait” hunting and therefore eat whatever comes within reach. Fortunately they are not very picky and therefore if it doesn’t put up much of a fight, it’s lunch. Still, patience is an important virtue and energy conservation a standard modus operandi given the distinct possibility that today’s entrée may not amble along for quite a while.
Of course when we speak of adults, we have to address the issue of sex which for a green frog seems at best to still be a rather passive non-aggressive experience. The female chooses the neighborhood. She picks the male because he looks froggishly buff. She then lays a virtual barrage of eggs; we’re talkin 1000 to 7000 for the first pop. Then the male comes along and says “Nice bunch of eggs, dear. Think I’ll fertilize a few.” And then comes the sperm cloud. No cuddling, no foreplay, no passionate making of the “beast with two backs”. Just cloud of eggs and cloud of sperm. Now this doesn’t sound like much to us but maybe that’s what ecstasy looks like for a laid back specie like the green frog.
Now this fellow found at Broadmoor looks like life is treating him pretty good. Look at that smile — unperturbed by the duckweed and flotsam clinging to his body and undisturbed by my lens which must look for all the world like a giant eye, staring at him. And he looks back at me with those marvelous eyes of his which look like gold and green gemstones. There is an aura of peace and contentment that we reward seeking, status measuring, satisfaction demanding homo-sapiens struggle to attain. In the face of possible deadly predators, frozen winters, irregular lunches and a low energy love life, the countenance of contentment perseveres. The face of the Buddha?????