Last night when I went to pick the beans in The Green Thumbs community garden, I noticed lots of holes in the leaves.

I called in the experts – my sons who earned their Insect Study and Nature badges at Boy Scout camp this summer. They kindly put down their baseball mitts and stopped playing catch in the empty parking lot to give me their best scientific opinion.

“Definitely, bugs are eating our bean leaves,” they concluded after consultation and inspection.

Looking for the culprits, they found other bugs. A family of bright-colored caterpillars crawled on the parsley. A beetle-looking bug was at home on what’s left of the lettuce. A cricket jumped from the onions to the strawberries. And giant mosquitoes were taking up squatters rights on me.

Their best find was a tiny frog the size of a nickel.

“This is not an insect,” my teen-ager let me know, holding the tiny animal in the palm of his hand.

“Can we take him home?” he asked.

“We want to earn the Pets merit badge,” his younger brother said.

One of the other gardeners told us she found two frogs in her garden.

“I gave them a house,” she said.

She put an upside-down clay pot in the corner of her garden. The frogs live underneath the pot where it’s cool, and they also eat the bugs, she said.

We have a plastic pot with holes at the entrance of our garden, so we turned it over and put the tiny frog underneath. He can easily crawl out of the holes and into the garden when he’s hungry. And he’ll certainly be fed well if he likes bugs.

“Maybe we should move his house closer to the beans,” I said.

We want our new pet to be happy.



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