Lucky the frog was just centimeters away from becoming Becky Garfinkel’s meal.
Instead, the teeny frog — found in a store-bought, packaged salad — is now the Garfinkel family pet.
Garfinkel, a strict vegetarian, spotted the tiny critter Wednesday, seconds before she dug her fork into the packaged spring mix that she had bought that day at Target.
“I was going to stab at it and take a bite, and I see it … and I scream,” she said.
The 37-year-old Corona resident immediately ran to the bathroom and threw up her dinner.
As thoughts about her health swirled in her head, she said, her husband shouted, “It’s still alive!”
He rushed the small frog, about the size of a dime, to the kitchen sink and rinsed off the salad dressing, Garfinkel said.
The frog was stiff, so in a last-ditch effort, her husband started rubbing its belly — a trick he had seen in a widely circulated video.
Seconds later, the amphibian was roused from its tahini-lemon vinaigrette daze.
The thought of abandoning the frog in a ditch somewhere didn’t sit well with Garfinkel and her family, so they decided to keep the frog and name it Lucky. Because of course, she said, it’s lucky to be alive.
Garfinkel said she has reached out to the salad’s producer, Salinas-based Taylor Farms.
Taylor Farms apologized, she said, and launched an investigation into the salad slip-up.
After Garfinkel wrote to Target on Facebook about her find, she said, it offered her a $5 gift card.
In a statement to the Los Angeles Times, Target said it was aware of the issue and working directly with Garfinkel.
After welcoming the creature to her family, Garfinkel decked out a reptile terrarium with moss, crickets, worms and a bowl, and placed it in her office.
“He survived so much,” she said. “I am just happy he survived and I didn’t eat him.”