But when the Letterkenny schoolgirl, 9, brought the little creature into their Letterkenny home, her family were left ‘toad’-ily speechless.
The family rushed to put the tadpole into an old fish-tank in the hope of keeping it alive at their home in Foxhill.
And now, not only has it survived but it is growing two back-legs and turning into a fully-fledged frog.
Mum Caroline, who works as an assistant curator at the Donegal County Museum, said she is gob-smacked at the find.
“I thought she was joking as she’s a bit of a messer. But when she came in with it I couldn’t believe it.
Frog expert John Wilkinson of the Amphibian and Reptile Association, who are co-ordinating the latest Irish Frog Survey, said it is a rare find.
Mr Wilkinson says the strange weather of late is to blame but that Emma’s tadpole, which she has christened Tappy, will be very strong.
“It actually has a great chance of survival because it was spawned late,” he said.
He explained that the late arrival probably came as a result of the recent mild weather spell.
“It was nature’s way of protecting it and it came out late. It’s very unusual but then it’s all down to the unusual weather we’re having,” he said.
Emma’s mum Caroline said they are feeding Tappy on lettuce and small pieces of fish food.
“It’s not many children can say they have a pet frog. She had been asking me for a pet hamster so at least we don’t have to worry abou that now,” laughed Caroline.