Monday, September 3, 2012

An Obituary for Snowflake

We, the Nichols-Lotterman family, mourn the loss of our strangely beloved companion, Snowflake. An adult Albino Xenopus, Snowflake was the size of a clenched fist and the largest frog any member of her family had ever encountered. In truth, Snowflake intimidated our family and visitors alike. Snowflake was hard to read, spending days a time holding still at the bottom of her plastic enclosure. Her red eyes did not seem to return our gaze in a legible way. We were never able to develop a meaningful language to translate across the boundaries separating our species from hers.
            This is not to say that we did not love Snowflake. For the one week that Snowflake was in our lives, Charlie was always especially excited to get home and check in on her. And Jenny, while horrified, felt an inexplicable but profound love for Snowflake she is still trying to understand. Indeed, since Snowflake’s passing she has had many dreams of tiny frogs that were her children. Even Rosa, a dog, was intrigued by Snowflake and often peered into her tank for extended periods of time.
            This is not the first time that we have believed Snowflake to be dead. The first day we brought her home from the pet store, Petqua, and placed her in her new tank, Snowflake settled at the bottom and became still and unresponsive. After not moving for several hours, even when we violently shook the tank, we determined that she had died. When Charlie used a cup to scoop her body out of the water, however, she sprung to life. Sadly, that was not the case the second time. We knew she was dead when her red eyes stopped glowing.

1 comment:

  1. Charlie, this is the most heart-felt obit of an aquatic frog I have ever read. I mourn Snowflake's death as well, but for different reasons -- not the least of which is the fact that we, as fellow xenopus-keepers, will never know the depths that your love and observation could have reached. If this is what a week of knowing Snowflake produced, I wait with bated breath of what Snowball may inspire. I had the brief pleasure of spying Snowball in a glass jar coming out of your bag. I wish you luck.