FrogzillaBy Frogzilla, as told to Gerry Bishop photos provided by Nature Picture Library
“YEP, THAT’S WHAT THEY CALL ME. I’M THE BIGGEST, BADDEST BULLFROG IN THE POND. AND I’M BACK!”
Months ago, I buried myself underground to escape the blistering heat here in southern Africa. Finally, the short rainy season came, turning the baked earth to mud. I eagerly dug my way out (see photo above) and here I am—ready to take on all nearby male African bullfrogs to win a mate!
With my mouth clamped tight and my throat pumped full of air, I begin my awesome croak. My throat vibrates so hard that the water all around me begins to dance. How could any female resist the mighty call of Frogzilla?
Yes! It’s working! Here comes one now, as you will see on the next page below!
1. Ah—isn’t she a little beauty? There in the blurry background is big handsome ME, admiring my possible mate.
Whoa! Here comes another male. Doesn’t he know who I am? Too bad, but it looks like THERE’S GOING TO BE A . . .
2. BUDDY, YOU DON’T KNOW WHO YOU’RE MESSIN’ WITH! I’m coming down on you full force—and you’ll never forget it!
3. Oh—so you’re Mister Tough Guy! Then how would you like a nice hard bite to the head?
4. And for my finishing touch, it’s the old Frogzilla Flip. You’re outta here!
5. Any of you other guys want trouble?
6. Didn’t think so! Now my mate is ready to lay her eggs, and I’m going to be the Proud Papa.
7. When my mate lays her eggs, I fertilize them. That makes tiny tadpoles grow inside the eggs. Then they hatch—just as the eggs in the photo above are hatching—after only two days. Aren’t they the cutest things you’ve ever seen?
8. It’s a week or so later, and I’ve been standing guard over my precious tadpoles. But now our little pool is drying up in the hot sun, and my Little Frogzillas are in danger!
Using my powerful legs, I dig a channel through the mud. Soon my tadpoles will be able to swim to deeper water. MIGHTY FROGZILLA SAVES THE DAY!
“Frogzilla” appears in the March 2018 issue of Ranger Rick magazine.
(Click on each image above for a larger view of the story.)