Page 107 - November 2020
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107
                      Litterateur
                                                                                       November 2020




                                                      An Army of Frogs


              “The what?” shrugged Greg.


              “It’s the ass, you ass,” whispered Badra.


              The moment Greg’s hand squeezed around his frog and felt it inhaling and exhaling,
              he  wanted  to  run  outside  and  set  it  free  instead  of  lining  up  in  the  back  of  the
              classroom, waiting his turn to use the scale.  But he figured what would the point of
              freeing it be? There aren’t any ponds around here.  It would just get squashed by a
              car or some punk would shove a firecracker down its throat.


              After all the students measured and weighed their frogs and returned to their desks,
              Mrs.  Worton  pulled  her  desk  to  the  center  of  the  room  to  talk  them  through  the
              surgery while slicing up her very own frog.  “Our first step will be to decapitate the

              frog  with  your  special  dissection  scissors  and  then  pith  its  spinal  cord  with  the
              pithing  needle  on  your  tray.    The  frog  will  twitch.    Pithing  greatly  reduces  the
              incidence and intensity of muscle contractions, thus simplifying the dissection.”


              Most  of  the  class  scrunched  their  faces  with  revulsion  as  they  followed  Mrs.
              Worton’s commands.


              “As you hold the frog’s head, “continued Mrs. Worton, “squeeze it with your thumb
              and  index  finger  to  open  its  mouth  for  easier  insertion  of  the  scissors  into  the
              mouth.  Hold your frog against the tray with your palm as it may twitch while you are
              decapitating it.”


              Greg did as he was told and placed the lower scissor blade inside his frog’s mouth
              while the outer blade rested on the back of the frog’s head.  Without applying much
              force, he was
              surprised how quickly the head was severed from the body.  His frog twitched and
              contorted  so  violently  that  it  jerked  out  of  his  hand  and  fell  to  the  floor,  where  it

              flopped about like an awkward break-dancer trying to spin into a finale.


              Mrs. Worton hurried over, responding to the many shrieks of disgust surrounding
              Greg’s desk.  “Didn’t I tell you to pith your frog?” she asked.


              Greg just stared at her as she picked up his headless frog and dropped it onto his
              tray.  It continued to twitch.  She handed him a pair of forceps and ordered him to lift
              the skin of the abdomen with them before cutting into the skin, from left to right.
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