We were given a large lump of frog-spawn the other day. There it sat in a black bucket next to where we park the car, neglected for several days. I had totally forgotten about it, until the friend who gave us the spawn asked Betty how her tadpoles were getting on. Betty, understandably, had no idea what she was talking about.
I promptly cleaned out a large clear plastic tub I found in the shed, and filled it with water from the hose, and in sploshed the jellied mass. I was surprised to find that during its time in the black bucket the spawn was now literally hundreds of little tadpoles, some of which wiggled around in their new surroundings with delight, but most of which looked dead.
Betty has been absolutely beside herself with excitement about these tadpoles ever since, and has been looking after them very well. She has been giving them bread-crumbs, dock leaves, sprigs of rosemary, and twigs to eat, and a stone to sit on. She then went on to do a picture of the life-cycle of a frog which she has now stuck on her bedroom wall, referring to it when she needs to. If she is annoying me, all I have to say is: 'How many of your tadpoles have legs now?' and off she goes, and I don't see her for what seems like hours, while she tries to count them.
I was perplexed at her excitement - after some thought, I think she realises that because of my dislike of any animal-type creature, this is the closest she will ever get to having a pet.