Tuesday, June 29, 2010

And the final score, Cats 1, Green Tree Frog who got in the house 0

I'm Marlon Perkins. This is the American Green Tree Frog, also known as hyla cinerea. Hyla cinerea are found all throughout the Southern United States. They are distinguished from their cousin, the European tree frog, by their larger jowls, their penchant for deep fried crickets, and the European frog's desire to retire to the public dole almost immediately after birth. Today, we take a look at a subset of hyla cinerea found only in Effingham County, Georgia, the hyla methlabius, and this particular one is beginning an adventure inside someone's home.

This hyla methlabius starts to move around its unnatural habitat, perhaps in search of food, or at the very least a two-liter soda bottle and some Sudafed. So far, the search does not turn up any of the frog's typical cuisine, only a strangely shaped shell. Only when we move the camera back do we see the shell's true identity - it is indeed a naked Mr. Potato Head. The frog makes a mental note to use this as shelter if need be when he spots a much larger and more posh potential shelter. It is a huge two-story barn, complete with silo, apparently populated by a miniature plastic cow eating the plastic hay where a plastic chicken appeared to be attempting to lay, presumably, plastic eggs. Our froggy friend investigates his new animal mates, trying to determine why they are moving almost as slowly as the employees at the Rincon Burger King when....DANGER!

Stalking our amphibious visitor are, not one but two, ferocious calico cats, striking fear in the hearts of carpeting everywhere with their hairballs of doom! The calico cat is an expert stalker. An abysmal killer, but a fantastic stalker. Countless insects, dust bunnies, and stray Cheerios have been on the receiving end of the mighty blows of the felis catus, or the subspecies we observe in this particular house, the lumpus poopfloorus, and it looks as if our slightly slimy intruder might be next on their list. Well, the kid's chair is actually next for a claw sharpening session, and now it's on to the frog. While Jim holds down the feline known as "Chloe", eliciting a succession of "rah-ah-ah-ah" mew tones and minor scratches while attaching a tiny-claw camera to get close to the action, let me tell you about Mutual of Omaha...

....and now, back to the action.

The American tree frog is observing a fellow woodland creature, the rear end of a stuffed bear, unknowingly being watched by the cats. Well, unknowingly until "Doo-dee-doo-dee-doo doo doo, dee-doo-dee-doo-dee-doo doo doo", the toddler bus that never shuts off is accidentally brushed with a cat tail. Jim attempts to get a camera on the back of the frog to get the amphibical perspective, THWAP! BAM! BIFF! POW! An episode of Batman? No, cat paws left, right and center! Good thing Jim has that Mutual of Omaha policy.

The frog attempts to hop, but as soon as he lands, SMACK, a right from Chloe's ample sister, Zoe. The frog hops, BAM, a left from Chloe. The frog gets two hops when, SLURP, a thorny cat tongue attack. At this point, we feel it is our duty to attempt to rescue the frog and return it to a more natural habitat, the trash can outside. We retrieve a paper towel, but just before we get to the frog, CHOMP, a bite from Zoe, who someday hopes to be Andrew Zimmern's mascot on the "Bizarre Foods" show. The frog, who had done a remarkable Chuck Wepner impression up until now, is no more, not eaten, but a slimy shell of its now former self.

And now, for the benefit of our Spanish-speaking fans, here is a replay of the American tree frog's final journey, as described by Andres Cantor.

La rana del árbol brinca de cojito alrededor del camión rosa, gigante y grande. Hoppity de hoppity de Hoppity, y hay los gatos. Zoe y Chloe, Zoe y Chloe. La Rana del árbol, Zoe y Chloe. La rana brinca de cojito y, un abofetea en la cabeza de Zoe. Otro brinco de cojito, otro choque de Chloe. ¡Zoe y Chloe, brinco de cojito de hippity y abofetea! ¡El humano gigante trata de conseguir la toallita de papel, pero Zoe, la rana, Zoe, la toallita de papel, la rana! ¡Zoe con una mordedura, una mordedura inmensa y va hacia abajo la rana para un Objetivo! ¡Gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooal! ¡Gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooal! ¡Gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooal! ¡Zoe el gato de calicó, con su hermana Chloe, devastación increíble de la rana norteamericana de árbol, terminando con un Golazo! ¡Goooooooooooazo! ¡Azo, azo azo!

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