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Elementary Fanfic: Phyllobates terribilis (JWP 2015 #14) - CaffieneKittySpace
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Elementary Fanfic: Phyllobates terribilis (JWP 2015 #14)
Title: Phyllobates terribilis
Fandom: Elementary
Alternate Postings: AO3
Rating/Content: PG13, frogs, conservationism, poison
Warnings: None
Word Count: 400
Disclaimer: Not my characters or my world.
Notes: Written for watsons_woes July Writing Prompt #14: Not So Cute. Try to create something shmoopy with a less-than-adorable animal.

Summary: Deadly things come in small bright packages.

Phyllobates terribilis

"What is that?" Bright yellow frogs appeared on all the living room screens.

"Phyllobates terribilis, the golden dart frog. Each is no larger than 55 millimeters." Sherlock said, typing. "One of the most poisonous creatures on Earth. Also one of the most endangered. Their habitat is dwindling and breeding in captivity renders them non-toxic."

Joan leaned over Sherlock's shoulder to get a better look at one of the screens. "They're gorgeous."

Sherlock squinted up at her. "Do you think so?"

"Sure. It's a small bright amphibian. It looks... cheerful." Joan stopped, thought, then added. "But we aren't getting one."

"No, of course not. Unnecessary at this point."

Rather than try to determine at what point Sherlock might decide that invading the brownstone with tiny but deadly sunshine-glowing frogs was necessary, Joan just nodded and straightened up. "So, who did the frog kill?"

"No one. At least no one specific."

"Why the sudden interest in poisonous frogs then?"

"It's hardly a sudden interest. Poisons and their sources are perpetually fascinating to me."

Joan hummed, tolerantly but neutrally.

"This is a side project with Everyone. They're trying to make the frog more appealing to those inclined to donate money towards saving endangered species, and I'm inclined to assist." Sherlock pulled up a chat screen and typed something about eye sizes and symmetry. "The more artistically inclined among Everyone are attempting a realistic yet anthropomorphically appealing set of campaign images, and possibly a 'stuffie'. I am acting as a 'beta' reviewer. Due to the generally idiotic nature of human beings, notably less funding is donated towards campaigns to save dangerous animals or ones many people consider ugly."

"They aren't ugly though." Joan turned a screen for a better angle on a frog that looked like it was carved from living yellow jade.

"A valid subjective assessment, but not one shared by the average narrow-viewed donor. However, these amphibians are objectively quite lethal." Sherlock grinned at the little yellow frogs on the screens. "The poison they exude contains enough alkaloid toxin to kill between ten and twenty adult humans. Or two bull elephants, but it's not often that elephants are murdered by poisoning."

Joan shrugged. "I'm not about to touch one. Being lethally dangerous doesn't make something not be cute."

Sherlock glanced up at her and flashed a quick smile. "As in many things, Watson, you have a singular perspective on danger."

Joan looked down at Sherlock's upturned face, raised an eyebrow, and went off to the kitchen to make tea.

(thats all)

Notes: Wikipedia entry on golden dart frogs and an approximation of the images on the screens at the brownstone. Found on a list of "Un-cute" endangered animals.

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4 comments or Leave a comment
pompey01 From: pompey01 Date: July 15th, 2015 02:50 am (UTC) (Link)
Sherlock, she voluntarily rooms with you. Surely her perspective on danger is no surprise!

(Those frogs are VERY pretty)
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: July 15th, 2015 05:01 am (UTC) (Link)
They really are! I was surprised to see them on that list of 'ugly' animals, but I guess it was saying if it wasn't fluffy, it was ugly as well? Don't know.
gardnerhill From: gardnerhill Date: July 15th, 2015 03:55 am (UTC) (Link)
Joan walks in one evening to boing boing boingboingboing boing CROAK boing boing boingboingboing CROAK

"SHERLOCKKK!!!" she roars, standing dead-still amid hundreds of hopping yellow poisonous froggies - in and around the turtle tank, the beehives, the rooster cages, the quagga stall and the parrot perch.

"Sorry, Watson, but I couldn't resist after all."
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: July 15th, 2015 05:03 am (UTC) (Link)
After which he'd reveal they were all bred in captivity and non poisonous because coating the flat in deadly frog secretions would be totally irresponsi-

What am I saying, of course he would!
4 comments or Leave a comment