A Derry man has said he was startled to find a giant frog in a bucket of rinse water he was conserving as a result of the current water shortage.
Don Clarke said the beast of an amphibian must have leaped into the 10 litres bucket of soapy water he had saved from washing clothes.
As he was transferring the water to the mop bucket at his garden in Marlborough Road he said he heard a loud ‘plop’ and discovered the dead frog.
There is only one species of frog found in Ireland, the common frog, which usually measure around 10 centimetres when fully grown, but this one was at least double that.
Mr Clarke said: “It wasn’t a heavily soiled wash so I thought I’ll conserve water as we are being told we should. I redirected some of the discharge water that comes out into the bucket and was going to wash the floors with it.
“The frogs have been coming into my garden for a long time. There’s a pond in the school behind me, but when they closed the pond in Brooke Park that coincided with them appearing in my garden so they might have come from there. I reckoned they were going under my garden shed which would be ideal for them as it is on a plinth and it would be dark and deep underneath. I did kill one one day by accident with a strimmer and felt bad about that so I’ve been accommodating these little neighbours by leaving out a bucket of rain water for them to make use of, and I leave a grass verge for them so they have some room.”
Mr Clarke had left the bucket of rinse water in the garden on Tuesday, sand returned the following day.
“I went to transfer it into the mop bucket and just heard the plop! Then I saw the size of it! I’ve never seen one bigger. It’s a strange thing. This might be the daddy of them all, the king of the castle.
“It seems the soapy water killed it and that the colour was affected by the chemicals. He must have jumped in not knowing it would kill him!”
And so the giant frog leaped his last, but Don said had the big boy survived, he may have still have croaked it. “I might have killed it dipping and wringing the mop if I hadn’t heard the plop!” he said.