I had a very tolerant mother.
She let me live with a frog and a planarian.
The flatworm and amphibian were my roommates at different times.
The frog lived in my bedroom while I was a serious science student in the eighth grade.
He (or she) stayed under my bed in an aquarium.
My science "project" was to dissect a frog.
Even though this project was quite ordinary, to me it was ingenious and very creative.
The real project, however, was just keeping the frog alive in my bedroom for almost three months.
My mom asked me a lot:
"When are you going to get rid of that frog?"
Oh, cruel inquisition!
"Mom, don't say get rid of! I'm going to dissect it!"
"Well, whatever you're going to do with it, I sure wish you'd do it soon!"
And she was right.
My frog was starting to stink to high heaven.
"What am I doing…living with a frog?"
I would ask myself.
I can't remember now whether my frog croaked (i.e. kicked the bucket) from a natural death or at my own hands.
My ingenious project was more traumatic for me than I thought.
My planarian lived with me years later when I was a freshman at the university.
(Biology was my favorite subject back then. Philosophy and literature would take its place years later.)
I was keeping the planarian alive for another science project.
This particular project was again quite ordinary, but I, again, thought it was something special.
I was keeping my planarian alive until the day that I would sever its body into two halves to watch its remarkable capacity to become two "new" bodies.
But this day never arrived.
I forgot to put water in its little dish, and he (or she) dried up and died.
It put me into a depression.
And it also put me in jeopardy of not getting (another) A in Biology.
I came up with a remedy.
I made a little casket out of cork for my tiny, slimy roommate and brought it to my class.
My jovial lab teacher thought it was quite funny.
I got an A in spite of the death (or murder) of my planarian.
I never gave a name to either of my roommates, and I am happy that I didn't.
The pain of my losses would have been even greater