Lisa
07/02/07

Man vs. Frog

He sat there, perched on a rock, looking at me. His amphibian eyes would wink in turn, but never would he remove both from my intimidating presence. He feared that I might childishly make a leap for him, grab him in my hands, and imprison him.

He had reason to fear me, I suppose. His ancestors had probably kept a record of my juvenile offenses. "June 3rd - she captured Uncle George Flybreath and dropped him in the drawer of an old desk for safe-keeping. Luckily he escaped following secret procedures of Cousin Harry. Be careful of her." That's how the log would read. And it would all be true.

My brother had taught me the wonderful sport of frog-catching. Unfortunately, he'd failed to reveal to me the art of keeping the "possible princes." They always escaped from me.

I think the reason why my brother never passed along that particular secret to his apprentice was that he'd never discovered the secret himself to mastering wild amphibians.

That didn't change with time, and we both eventually entered different, newer phases and stopped racing earthworms, stomping ants, and catching frogs. It was a childhood.

Now, I maturely sit amid the periwinkle, beside the frog pond, staring back at that suspicious, green-brown face. I wonder, "Was the excitement worth having all nature fear me?"

Of course, I know that it was not, but part of me still wants to test my past skill. Sigh. I'm only human. On the count of three, I'll just hop up and-.

Splash! He wins again. Cousin Harry taught him well.

The water sprays up at me. He makes his retreat beneath the mud. I find myself, once again, wearing green slime.

And I think, "Next time, I'll be quicker. I'll turn my left hand a little more this way. I'll....."

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Lisa J. Parker's writing and creative works including poems, books, short stories, essays, movies, greeting graphics, and photographs.

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