Froggie goes to school at age 35

June 07, 2005|by MARLO BARNHART

Ryan Null can barely remember a time when Froggie the frog wasn't part of his family. And that goes without saying for his three school-age daughters.

After all, Froggie the frog is 35 years old.

Two generations of the Null family have taken the pet to school for show and tell.

"I took him to Boonsboro Elementary School when I was a kid," Null said recently as he accompanied his youngest daughter, Macie, 5, to her class at Grace Academy for her turn to show off the long-lived pet.

Purchased around 1970 by Robert Null, Ryan Null's father, from the former Two Guys Department Store on Maryland Avenue in Hagerstown, Froggie lives in a large aquarium half filled with water.


There are also places for him to sit out of the water when he wants. He can't stay out too long or his skin will dry out, Null said.

"I remember that my father bought Froggie just before we moved to the house where he lives now," Null said. "Two frogs were bought, but one disappeared - Froggie must have eaten the other one."

During Macie's turn at show and tell, she told her classmates that Froggie belongs to her Pappy (Robert Null), who lives on Mill Point Road. "He stays in the aquarium at Pappy's," she said.

Macie's dad briefly took Froggie out of the water and held him so the children could see him up close. Even at his advanced age, Froggie was eager to jump out of Null's hand and had to be put back into the bowl.

"I looked it up and the typical life span for a frog is about five years or so," Null said. But with no natural predators around, Froggie has exceeded that expectation.

Null said Froggie's usual diet is crickets and worms, all of which are caught and put into his bowl alive.

"When there aren't any bugs available in the winter, he eats deer bologna."

Only about 11/2 inches long when purchased, Froggie's body is just smaller than the palm of Macie's hand.

"His color has changed a little over the years, and at some times of the year Froggie gets claws on his back feet," Null said.

Although Null refers to Froggie as "he," Froggie's gender has never been determined.

Null's other daughters, Erica, 12, and Madison, 7, also took Froggie to Grace Academy for show and tell.

"Froggie only likes live worms," Erica said. "If you give him a dead one, he just ignores it."

Null said he expects Froggie probably will take a few more trips to show and tell at school when his triplet sons - Logan, Jayden and Colton, now 2 - are old enough.

Laurie Hall, the kindergarten teacher at Grace Academy, said Froggie is always a big hit on show-and-tell day.

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