A Simple Lake Frog

bearskull lake frog 2

I must resist the urge to turn this ordinary frog into something more. Many cultures have seen magic when they look at frogs: here is the European witch’s familiar, the Egyptian goddess Heqet and China’s Ch’ing-Wa Sheng. Frogs hop around fairy-tales. They sometimes mysteriously fall down on us like rain. Everyone knows if you aren’t careful you can be turned into one.

Frogs are as wet and slippery as the journey of life itself. They are living proof of the possibility of transformation. Every single frog has shape-shifted from a tadpole into something completely different. Lick the right kind and you might be transported into an alternate reality.

George Orwell and others have drawn our attention to the beauty of their eyes. Surrounding the unknowable darkness are rings of brightest gold and green. They look like promises to me. What do they see?

Frogs are often used as the subjects of cautionary tales. How pesticides are slowly silencing the world and mutating our bodies. How inaction may inevitably lead to death. Everyone knows the one about the frog ignoring the danger of his world slowly heating up around him but few have made the connection to our own situation. There’s another story about how a frog stuck at the bottom of the well only ever sees a mere slice of sky.

I met this frog and a bunch of her friends in the land of water. I didn’t get to hear them sing but I hope I heard something else: the message that she doesn’t have to be other than what she is: a healthy frog just doing her sloshy thing.

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26 thoughts on “A Simple Lake Frog

  1. Many years ago about 70 years or there about, we used to go to Greenville N.Y. in the summer and I remember we used to catch frogs and put them on a thread and walk them around like pets. They were not hurt and my mom made us set them free after a while. It’s funny how your post brought that to the forefront of my mind.
    Thanks for the memories. :o)

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    1. Wow! It would so lovely if every kid could spend time outside like that. I never did anything like that but your description made it come alive in my mind.

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  2. Frogs are amazing and a bit mysterious as well. To have such powerful legs and yet so often remain still by choice – it seems to imply a knowing I’m not privy to. On top of all that – to be the ones eating mosquitoes rather than being eaten by them – it just feels a far superior situation! Go frogs! Long may you sing!

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    1. =) Frogs are such fun. I accidentally stepped on a teeny tiny guy last week. It was so small I didn’t even see it. My husband who was walking behind me noticed though. I was horrified that maybe I killed it but gee they are tough. It just hopped away as though nothing had happened.

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  3. I rarely see a frog: so rarely that I can count those I’ve seen on one finger. Yes, one. Since I’ve started spending more time with fresh water instead of salt, I hear more, but generally have to content myself with the great “kerplunk!” when one leaps, unseen, into the water. Your photo’s wonderful, and your musings have made me eager to find more. Of course, I need to get away from the bay and the Gulf if I’m going to do so.

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    1. Thank you. Here in central Texas (for the moment) frogs remain numerous inhabiting creeks, ponds and even my backyard. Mind you I only see the slow pokes like tree frogs and gulf coast toads or the ones that are hibernating under logs. In the spring when it is dry they like to nestle into seedling trays. I assume they are looking for moisture.

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  4. The frogs at our place were singing the other night … hubby called me outdoors to listen to them. A day or two later, I was gardening and found a huge green frog. So I picked him up and popped him out of harms way. Handsome lad … prince perhaps ;)

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  5. There should be a love button! Your post is both passionate and lyrical! I am always so excited to see frog and toads in my garden! : )

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    1. Gee thanks, Laurin. Blush. I feel the same way about seeing frogs and toads in the garden — like a blessing or confirmation that I am doing something right.

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