You may remember a post I did recently about cheering myself up with yellow things.
Yellow is good. Yellow is bright. Yellow is happy.
In that post I gave some examples of yellow things that are positive. Bananas, jaundice, Mr Custard.
Actually, not jaundice, unless you're positive for hepatitis. But definitely Mr Custard, the American Bullfrog at Slimbridge wildlife and wetland trust:
And yes, there may have been some labelling that Mr Custard might have drunk like a fish, hence his hue, but it was generally accepted that his yellowness was as a result of albinism, which isn't really his fault, no matter how you look at it.
We were there yesterday, and my son was relatively excited about seeing Mr Custard, saying "Want to see lellow prog!" three hundred and eleven times until we started to suspect that he might want to see the yellow frog.
Dutifully, we trudged towards the amphibian ghetto.
Imagine our distress when we were greeted by this sign:
Mr Custard had croaked.
And "retention of fluids"?
Looks like I was right about the . . . er . . . *makes drinky-drinky motion with hand*
My son was a little confused, but I think that, at two, he's ready for the "death talk".
It was going to happen soon anyway, what with my driving and the suicidal pheasants that abound round these parts, so I explained to him, in terms he could understand, that Mr Custard was no longer with us, and had gone to a better place. Possibly a heron's colon.
He got the message, and walked out with a new appreciation of life and it's adherent ephemerality.
"Lellow prog dead!" he announced as he strode past some other children, breaking them in easily for the sad news.
Luckily, Slimbridge has some other new American imports, which are proving to be a big attraction.
These are North American otters, and although we do have a British version (the Eurasian otter), Slimbridge has these for a couple of reasons. The main one is that they needed a home, and they had one going spare. The other is that the American species is bigger, brasher, louder, more boisterous, likes showing off and doesn't mind being watched by an audience:
Despite being brown, the second saddest colour* otters are the embodiment of joi de vivre, and just the tonic for getting over the sad demise of Mr Custard. And the two, apart from both being American, are closer ecologically than one might at first suspect.
Apparently, otters eat frogs on a regular basis, so it all demonstrated the great, crunchy, chewy wonder that is the cycle of life.
* the first being puce, because nothing good is ever puce.