The only bathtub around here is outdoors, cold water only — the toothpaste green bathtub that serves as the horse trough. One day in late summer, after rain had caused it to overflow, I noticed it was full of tiny brown tadpoles.
The water level is usually well below the rim, but some misguided frog must have taken it for a pond in its brief overabundance, and made a deposit for the future.
I don’t know what these little fellows were eating but the layer of poo in the bottom grew larger and so did the tadpoles. I couldn’t empty it out to clean as I normally would because that would have been frogicide.
One day I tore a piece of mountain flat bread (lavash bread) into scraps, and let them flutter down into the tub like a discarded love letter.
At first they didn’t approach these strange pale papery objects that floated above them. Perhaps when these soften and disintegrate, I thought, they’ll get the idea that this is food, even if unlike anything ever seen in their tubby universe.
Then one of the smallest nosed up to a scrap and began nibbling. Just like with humans, it’s the kids who are game to try new things, who work out how to deal with new technology.
By the time I got back with my camera, the bigger ones had caught on and in twos and threes were swimming about pushing a piece of flat bread in front of them. Some were underneath, wearing the scrap like a hat, while smarter ones wedged it against the tub side to attack it.
But some still weren’t convinced. Luddites, I figured.