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Blog of the Bartender

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Response #4: Mikal

The pond was peaceful, little ripples dancing across the pond as insects swooped down for a drink and then flew off, barely tapping the water. Lily pads dotted the pond, the purple and pink flowers offering a stark contrast to the dark water and the green leaves floating in the pond.

A child came over the nearby hill, heading directly for the pond. He had but one intention on his mind this day: catching a frog.

As he neared the pond, frogs that had been resting on the bank hopped in to escape the presumed predator. Thwoop, thwoop, thwoopthwoop. It was safer to jump away from a false danger than to be wrong and not have time to jump.

Unperturbed, the boy walked over to some tall grass growing nearby. He carefully selected the perfect “fishing for frogs” pole…a tall piece of grass with a small, feathery, pill-shaped seed pod on the end.

He walked to the edge of the pond and knelt, staying still, waiting. Sure enough, after a few moments, a frog popped back up to the surface.

Carefully, the boy made small movements with his fingers, causing the pod to dance across the pond, not unlike a large insect. The frog continued to float on the water, seemingly oblivious to the pod. Slowly, deliberately, he moved one of his front legs to orient himself to better prepare to capture the presumed bug. The boy danced the pod to one side of the pond, so that the frog would be parallel to the bank.

With his other hand, the boy slowly brought it closer to the surface of the pond, continuing to distract the frog with his pretend bug. He let the grass dip onto the surface of the water, and the frog attacked. In the same moment, he darted out his hand and captured the frog, gently but firmly squeezing its outstretched back legs to prevent the frog’s escape.

The boy brought his prize up to his face. Looking at the frog, he said, “Hello, friend. How are you today?”

The frog looked at him with a blank stare, his yellow eyes unblinking.

The boy tried again, “What is life like in a pond? Do you enjoy eating flies?”

The frog squirmed, trying to escape.

The boy tried once more. “Can you tell me the difference between a damselfly and a dragonfly?”

The frog stopped squirming, and continued to stare.

The boy laughed. “If the dragonfly catches the damselfly, the damselfly becomes a damsel-in-distressfly!” He continued to chuckle.

The frog blinked. The boy decided maybe he didn’t get it.

“You don’t say much, do you?” the boy said.

The frog opened his mouth, but all that came out was a croak.

The boy laughed again. “I’d take you home, but Mom said that if I brought another frog into the house, she’d throw me in the pond. I don’t think she really would, but I’m not going to take the chance. I caught you, I know it, so I’m satisfied. You go ahead and go home now.” He set the frog on the ground, and began to walk away, whistling, looking for something else to do.

The frog hopped away in relief, diving into the pond. When he came back to the surface on the other side, he almost immediately saw a female frog, sitting amidst a group of tadpoles.

“Honey, you won’t believe what I saw today,” he croaked, his voice rising and falling with each syllable, and full of amazement. “A talking child! I was so surprised, I couldn’t talk back to him…the one time I tried, all that came out was a croak. And what a sense of humor! Listen to this joke he told me. What’s the difference between a dragonfly and …”

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