"a caterpillar doesn't just grow into a butterfly. a caterpillar must undergo metamorphosis, and a cocoon is where a caterpillar risks it all: enters total chaos, undergoes total rebuilding, and is born to a new way of living. only in taking the risk of entering that inert cocoon can the caterpillar go from dormancy to potency, from ugliness to beauty."

Thursday, December 02, 2004

the frog massacre: not your ordinary froggy tale

before anything else, let me make something clear: it could be that in this post, i'm really talking about toads and not frogs, or both toads and frogs. i grew up thinking that toads and frogs were just the same because... toads and frogs, in my native tongue, are all referred to as baki^. ehem.

the day the sophomores in my high school killed
more than a hundred frogs was when i knew that
i wasn't meant to be a medical doctor.

it used to be that i played with frogs as a child. not only i, but also my brother and our kid neighbors who started it all. we were kinda brutal with the frogs. i remember that one late afternoon, we were boiling water using empty milk cans placed on top of our make-shift “cooking area” (three stones surrounding a fire) in the grassy part of our purok’s make-shift basketball court... when...

as if possessed...
one of our playmates casually held a frog by its hind leg
and dipped the poor creature into the boiling water.

even though we were initially a little bit shocked at what he did, we tolerated the brutality and even helped him in looking for more frogs to unceremoniously boil. the next morning, five, maybe, six or seven frogs were lying dead in our “cooking area”. geez!

okay, enough of that childhood story... let’s move on to

the real frog massacre

during our second year in high school, one of our science subjects (we had two, by the way) was biology and part of the course work was dissecting a frog. so, one day, all of us sophomores in that high school were required to bring a frog to dissect during our respective bio classes.

i remember bringing my “poor victim” to school inside a shoebox. i had it caught the night before “die-section” day somewhere in pala-o, because during that time it was quite difficult to look for frogs in my own neighborhood in tambo. the “victim” was big and hideous-looking... quite a monster for a frog (yikes!) that even my father agreed with me when i pointed out that it was very ugly.

during our biology class, my classmates and i took out our frogs for our teacher and the student teachers to see. i was never the type who would go a-shrieking at the sight of spiders or cockroaches, and i could touch a beetle, but a frog(???) waaaaaaaaaa... around that time, i already put my “frog-holding/frog-boiling” past behind me!!! hahaha... however, each of us taking bio had no choice but to deal with (read: hold) our frogs...

we were instructed to pith our frogs, secure them on our respective wooden blocks placed on top of the 3 long laboratory tables, and begin dissection.

woweeee... dissection...
it sounded fun and interesting...

...and it was(!) despite the fact that...

rendering my frog unconscious by pushing a needle through the prominent part of its head was not easy. my “victim” kept on struggling and...

i was really tempted to give it
a strong punch on the belly just to make it stop moving
(*whispers* just like what the bad guys
do to helpless damsels in the movies, hehehe.)

until now, i don’t know if i really succeeded in pithing it, but i managed to secure the sorry frog with its belly-side up on my wooden block by driving nails through its limbs (just like crucifixion). quite brutal, i know, but i was just following instructions. after that, i proceeded on opening up its belly by running the tip of an improvised scalpel (a broken shaving blade securely attached to a bamboo stick, go figure!) through the skin. it still wasn’t easy, though it was something i looked forward to.

mwahihihi... a frog with an open belly,
froggy entrails to see... mwehehehe
ang saya saya!

i had to use surgical scissors just so i could neatly open up the frog and see its insides: heart, liver, whatever... and lo! the sight of my frog’s insides was ghastly! the heart was looking okay, but the liver(???) waaaaa... it looked liked my “victim” was suffering from cirrhosis! poor froggy. i looked at the insides of my classmates’ “opened-up” frogs and most of the livers were “neat”-looking, but my frog’s liver resembled that of a chocolate cookie sprinkled with small peanuts!!! yikes! despite my tolerance for yucky things, i almost vomited at the sight of it, and i was sorely tempted to drown the “tasty-looking” liver with isopropyl alcohol!

anyway, after opening up our frogs, and seeing and identifying their insides, came the task of clearing our working tables. after removing the frogs from the blocks, they were unceremoniously dumped into one huge plastic bag. just like that.

i remember blood oozed out from one of my frog’s front limb when i removed the nail. i remember my frog still attempted to move as if to jump when all four nails were finally removed. i remember handling it as if it were a bomb ready to explode anytime. i remember feeling relieved when it finally left my hand and fell inside the plastic bag where my classmates’ “victims” were already dumped...

and i remember realizing that if i have a problem dealing with an opened-up frog, what more with an “opened-up” person?

the day i was able to perform my first dissection was the same day my dreams of becoming a medical doctor died.

well, that was my “die-section” experience. i know that despite the “yucky-ness”, i enjoyed it and can laugh about it now.

sophomores in other classes went through the same froggy ordeal that day. there were about 200 of us, so that means

about two hundred frogs kissed their lives goodbye that day.

yes, about two hundred innocent frogs... denied of their a-croaking and a-leaping existence...

until now, i don’t understand why two hundred frogs had to be dissected. i only know that a lot of us said goodbye to our dreams of pursuing medicine because of that activity.

ask sealdi aka the volcano aka kinilaw... sealdi who wanted to be a surgeon. now, she’s nowhere near becoming a surgeon: she graduated last year with a degree in english studies (anglo-american literature), and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in urban planning. go figure!

tsk... tsk... about two hundred frogs...

about two hundred frogs... massacred by young ones -- young ones with delicate cerebral matters, the celebrated specimens-of-choice of our high school’s mathematical and scientific powers that be.

this post is dedicated to kerokerokeroppi and kermit, and is written in memory of their (approximately) two hundred relatives who unfortunately got murdered in school year 1996-1997.


  1. ah, killer man diay ka, oi... bisa'g katong bata pa kay ka! hehehe poor frogs! pero nag-massacre sad mi'g frogs tong nag-dissect mi.

    originally posted on 12.02.04 - 3:34 am using Haloscan comment board

  2. aist, i was one of the criminals rba sb! if pwede pa lng na dili mo dissect - dli jd ta ko! pero saon, panghadlok mn na dili kapasar kng dili mo dissect - so yes na lang!

    originally posted on 12.02.04 - 12:32 pm using Haloscan comment board

  3. i wasn't able to erase babypink's name! TAN- G- A jd ko, heheheh

    originally posted on 12.02.04 - 12:34 pm using Haloscan comment board


    originally posted on 12.02.04 - 1:03 pm using Haloscan comment board

  5. diane, sssssh...

    lanee, kriminal!

    sealdz, okay, okay fine. i will do some editing!


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