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Frog With Fish  Frog And Fish
The frog with the fish in its mouth (left) and out of its mouth (right). Copyright © Chin Fah Shin

A Fishy Frog Tale

THERE was something unusual about that frog out in the middle of the pond. It had just leapt out of the water onto a waterlily pad with something in its mouth. It looked like a fish.
   Being slightly short-sighted, I could not make out exactly what it was. So I viewed it through my camera which had a short telephoto lens on it. Yes, indeed it was a fish, its tail sticking out of the frog’s mouth, wriggling slightly in the grasp of its jaws.
   Interesting! As far as I knew, frogs’ diet consists mainly of insects. I think they also eat worms and slugs. But fish? I didn't know until then that they also take fish.
   I took some pictures. The frog tilted its head backwards several times, as if trying with difficulty to swallow the fish that now proved to be definitely more than a mouthful.
   Wanting to get better shots, I began to swap the lens on my camera with a longer telephoto lens. Just then what I had hoped wouldn’t happen happened. The fish slipped out of the frog’s mouth. It flipped and flopped a few times and then lay still on the lily pad.
   The frog, with mouth slightly agape for a moment, seemed dazed and sat there motionless. I took several shots of the

amphibian with the fish lying beside it. I waited. Nothing more happened, and I continued to scout around the pond.
   It was at this lily pond that I had previously taken some photos of the Common Green-back (Rana erythraea) sitting on waterlily flowers and waiting for insects to fly by. They made pretty good pictures, I thought, and I had gone back to the pond that morning to take more photos.
   After walking around the pond, I could not find anything else worth photographing, and packed up to go. I checked on the frog that had tried to eat a fish. It was no longer there. But the fish was quite obviously dead by then.
   Not a particularly lucky day for me. No pretty pictures of the Common Greenback sitting on pink waterlilies. On the other hand, I got some unusual pictures of a frog that had caught a whopper (relative to its own size) and couldn’t eat it. I thought it would make a story worth telling, but I wrote this account with some reservation. Just wonder what readers make of this... a fishy tale that's just simply too much to swallow?
   Please look again at the photos at the top of this page when you consider this question. What do you think now?

 This page revised on 24 May 2005. Copyright © Chin Fah Shin.

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