Frogs begin as gooey clumps of tapioca eyeballs, then the pupils grow tales and start to wriggle. They break out of their goopy shells and swim like little semen around warm and murky puddles. Slowly the taddies grow legs and little snouts, their tails begin to shrink away, until finally the turn into a shape that resembles the common frog. It was a transformation I was fond of watching throughout the spring and early summer.
When I was young I pulled them apart, one by one, being careful not to hurt the soft jelly shell. I then let the individual little spheres go and watched them floating lonely in the dark puddle. “Now your alone little frog.” I whispered to them as I let them go, “Just like me.” Huffing, I splayed myself out on my back on the gushy cushion of wet mud. I was so bored there was no one to play with and no toys to play with and nothing to do. I’d already been to the pond, which was still too cold for swimming. I romped through the field and gazed fearfully at a black widow spider who had made her web not a foot away from my path. I had wrestled with the new kid goats and taken the zip-line down to my neighbors Nick and Yara’s house to look at the ring worms that were multiplying in their unswum kiddy pool. It was better to be here in the goop, my honey blond hair drinking up the chocolate mud. My heart felt sorry for those little frogs that I had taken from their friends. I found them all and tried to help them reattach. It was too late. With pebbles I built a nice stone pool, about a child’s arm diameter. Inside it I placed the lonely tadpoles that I’d separated and searched for larger clumps of froggy families that I could add to this baby amphibian soup.
The next day I went out to check on my young friends, but to my dismay my pool lay in ruins, though the culprit had left its mark. The track of a four wheeler made it’s way up to the puddle, disappeared into the water, and reemerged on the other side. Horrified I spent the entire day finding all the tadpole clusters that were in puddles along the trail and with my green plastic bucket and purple rain boots I brought them to safety: past a vacant creepy trailer, through a series of small meadows, down a forest path and finally they were all dumped into the pond. By the time I’d finished my work I had walked up and down the half mile trail over a dozen times. I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening collapsing into sleepy fetal positions until finally I was allowed to go to bed. I dreamt of my ooey-gooey tadpole friends swimming safely in the pond.
walk by me our hands in hand through space and time through tides and lands to lay me back into my bed, a soft thought planted in my head.
Inclined to shed many tears.