The Boiling Frog

frogThere they sat sipping drinks—poised between eras—Mouse and Frog, representatives of their respective phyla, experiencing an epiphany, a moment beyond moments when all things are revealed.

Mouse stretched back in the hot tub. ‘Yes, I’m afraid it’s the way of the dinosaur for your kind,” he quipped, groping for the temperature control. The water was becoming tepid for the warm-blooded mammal, so while Frog considered his comment, Mouse cranked the temperature up another ten degrees and settled himself, comforting his Piña Colada.

As the temperature rose, Frog’s eyelids drooped and his great head nodded precariously toward the bubbling water. But the notion that a primitive limbic system in some way placed his species in line for extinction couldn’t go unchallenged.

‘We amphibians are common ancestor to both the dinosaur and to you mammals,” he rejoined. “To suggest identical sequelae to our thoroughly divergent evolutionary paths would be more than presumptuous, it would be in poor taste! Frankly I find the idea rather ‘cold-blooded’,” he mused, chuckling at his own pun.

Mouse, however was unrelenting. “Actually, biological history points out that of the cold-blooded genera of 200 million years ago, fully 99% have left no surviving descendent. The inability to adapt to a changing climate will lead inevitably to extinction!”

But Frog pulled himself easily from the steamy water and, adding ice to his bourbon, commented blithely: “What of you mammals? Overpopulation, interpersonal violence, environmental vandalism! What price the ongoing survival of mammalkind?!”

…and now it was the cold-blooded Mouse who found himself in hot water.