I switched on the TV and suddenly found myself in the middle of a great celebration. People were preparing and already in the middle of a great party, one lady said:
“ my knees are trembling with excitement!” Corks from champagne bottles were popping. Telephone calls were exchanged back and forth between local and foreign scientists and naturalists, and I was all tense waiting to find out what’s going on.
It took a while until I finally discovered the reason:
“A man, who has been wandering casually through the field a few days ago has found a…frog!” The long lost painted Hula frog. When Ben Gurion, may he rest in peace, sent workers to dry out the Hula Valley, many years ago, this kind of frog did not like the dried out area and left; regrettably it seemed forever. Where it went to, no one knew. Now, unexpectedly it was back!
People gathered and discussed the publicity which would be ours thanks to the rediscovered frog.
“It’s a female”, said one of the amphibian researchers full of excitement, I am sure she has a little frog prince waiting for her someplace. We will look for him too.
The little frog was checked an rechecked. Could it be that someone had a hidden hope that this frog would turn into a prince, excuse me, into a princess, since it was a female? It would have to be kissed, of course. Regarding it more closely, this may not be the most tempting idea, although I found that it had very intelligent rolling little eyes. It also looked very, very scared and uncomfortable. Would I have been in its place, I would feel even worse.
A little girl joined the group and nudged a man, probably her father:
“If it has babies, may I take one home as a pet? Please daddy!”
“Go home Orly, said the man this is not for kids!”
An hour later I received my daily newspaper and there was a long article dedicated to the rediscovered frog.
“The Hula Frog is back!” I read the big, fat headline, and suddenly my heart was filled with joy! Ours seems to be a normal country at last, everybody is talking about the Hula frog and not about a new terrorist attack, the volatile situation in the Middle East, crime and corruption, subjects which usually have the lead with our media! How nice we have a frog to talk about it. It may not be the prettiest thing alive, but as it was it caused great excitement and pleasure.!
“It’s supposed to have a very long and unusual tongue, said one of the zoologists,.
“this one has a special way of catching its prey, it doesn’t stick out its tongue to catch a fly or anything similar, it simply sucks it into its mouth!” The man said full of admiration.
I remember that my poodle used to suck up her food the same way and no one admired her for that, but oh well, poodles haven’t become extinct, and the hula frog was away for many years, so whatever it does now is definitely admirable.
The celebration went on and on and specialists discussed the varieties of amphibian behavior.
Next day it was all over, the frog had had its 15 minutes of fame and we were back to our usual fare. Several road accidents, a bank robbery, what Abu Mazen says and what we are supposed to say to him; in-between the Israeli fashion show, a parade of beautifully anorexic girls,
Here and there I thought with regret of the frog. He was such a nice change!