Friday, September 20, 2013

From Frog

A True Bedtime Story From the Eve of Winter Solstice

Evening comes, and I arise from my usual daily underground hiding place, a small hole I brush out with my webbed feet every morning before sunup at the foot of Big Rock Mountain.  It's going to be a cold night, I can tell, but my shallow hole has kept off the day's chill pretty well, so I'm all set to go.  I pause to take stock of any unusual scent carried on the wind, before my first hop of the night, and sure enough all seems well and safe.

I hop in a straight line a short while among the bushes and trees of Giant Rock Garden like I do every evening, except for those times I venture down to Wet Creek when The Snake has gone away for a spell.  Then one more hop and I'll be over Hoppable Stone Hill, and onto a particularly nice garden spot, where I first like to try my luck at hunting and gathering, something I'm not particularly fond of, but I must say I don't know what I'd do without it.  Besides, there's a rosemary tree there I'm especially fond of, and also a dense and overwhelming oregano forest which took some getting used to.

I leap again like always, and, suddenly, I'm falling.  Still falling, I wonder, where's my usual solid ground?  How much longer will I fall?  Then I get my answer.  Landing hard on my back feet, on a wide white limestone plain, it seems ten stories down and half a mile across.  Was I lost?  I don't understand.  Why am I down here instead of up on familiar ground, keeping my eyes and nostrils open for tiny insects and limbering up my tongue? What is happening to me?

It occurs to me that the world has greatly changed, and I have been completely unaware of it.  But why?  And how?  How can something be so different from one night to the next?  What kind of world is this?  And who could dig such a giant canyon like the one I am now in?  Hmm, I ponder.  A giant frog?   It is these kinds of questions that surface in my mind, as I sit here nursing sore joints and foot pads.  Not that I expect any answers, but the questions arise just the same.

The night begins slowly passing by.  It's quiet and even colder down here than up there.  I didn't know bare rock could be this cold.  Good thing I'm cold-blooded, though if only I could find something to eat, I'd feel a bit better.   But nothing else comes down here.  A few buzzing flies circle a short distance overhead but vanish quickly upward.  I am glad The Snake hasn't shown up at least.  Yet here I sit.  Just darn!  And Ribbit!

Well, I'll just have to wait it out alone, and hungry.  I'll just do what I usually do, when not sitting at the bottom of a giant white rock hole.  Except instead of hopping around and looking for food, I'll move around a little to stay loose and ready, and, I guess, count on something suddenly changing for the better, like something had suddenly changed for the not-better.

Yes, that's it!  Whatever worldly mystery got me here is bound to help me get out!  Anyway, what else can I do?  Hmm, the air does smell sweet down here.  It's the rosemary tree's perfume.  Not bad at all really.  I hadn't realized how much I quite enjoy that smell.  I guess a deep hole gathers scents, like a deep well of fragrances.   It's not a bad place to think clearly either.  Well, what do you know?  I'd never have learned all this, if I hadn't fallen into this hole.  I wonder what other secrets there are for me to learn while I'm here, before the world mysteriously brings me back to Giant Rock Garden and my normal hopping rounds.

Then, as suddenly as I had unknowingly leaped into Giant Hole, a Giant Shadow is cast over the hole, a thunderous voice bellows something that sounds like an excited gibberish, though it seems not unfriendly, and another voice answers from afar in similar nonsensical sounds.

             Suddenly, a Giant Thud lands almost on top of me, and the Earth shakes beneath me, bouncing me off the rock floor an inch, and now the Giant Shadow is a Giant Being here beside me, towering far above even the upper edge of the hole.  This is frightening but not as much as I would've thought, I suppose just because of how unreal it all feels.  Giant hole. Giants from out of nowhere.  Giant bellowing gibberish.  Giant Earthquake. What next?

Now I can't move!  A Giant Light is blinding me and has frozen me where I sit!  Now I feel a Giant Whoosh, and a big fleshy scoop gently cups me into itself and whisks me upward toward the moon (Oh, but I don't want to go there tonight!), and sets me down somewhere, a different part of Giant Rock Garden than where I had been hopping, but safely onto familiar ground, dirt I can sink my webbed feet into, and gladly do, well beyond the oregano forest and rosemary tree, to a safe place amidst the cactus spires.  At least I can shelter here here till I can catch my breath.

Ahhh.  What an interesting night it has been so far.

Later that night, though I do miss the smooth cold giant rock hole a little bit, I have no complaints.  And though I did have to alter my path through Giant Rock Garden tonight, I am having a good night after all, and fully intend to go to bed satisfied that my luck has indeed been good luck, and that my adventure has been a very good adventure indeed.

Frogs such as myself know a goodly amount about such things as luck and change and adventure, having been lucky to have been born a frog in the first place, having also been an eager rambunctious tadpole, before changing into my current beautiful frog self, and, though it may not necessarily take an amphibian such as myself to understand what it's like to live in two worlds at the same time - both normal and giant - it does help to relish an especially good adventure now and again.

            With dawn now about to, well, dawn, and my hiding hole freshly brushed out just before the sun slides up, and me suddenly feeling more exhausted than I've ever felt, I'll just say good day to you all, whether you be normal size or giants, including The Snake, my good friend whom though I try to keep at a healthy distance.

            And may all your days and your nights be filled with interesting things and that you always come home again safely and as happy as a frog.

                               Thirteen to Seventeen Spiders S urface water is the background of the photo, meaning the camera is pointin...