Family Image


Having survived my metamorphous, here I am today. You have to love these eyes. (Actually, those are not MY eyes, but rather the ones I desire, as you will read below.) Nonetheless, I continue my story by starting with my search for other frogs to have as friends in my pond. Fortunately, I found a particular corner in the pond that included a plethora of water lilies for shelter. (It is so beautiful and peaceful there that it is like a painting.wink) On the edge of the pond, there were some low hanging branches on which I could safely rest in the sun. In fact, it was such a fine day that I spotted 'HER' in a branch several feet off shore. Being a bit shy, I decided to climb a nearby branch and do several pull-ups without looking at her, hoping she would notice my physical attributes. She didn't apparently, given that she didn't even seem to look in my direction. (I could have really use those eyes that I showed you earlier.)  So much for 'HER' for now.

For the rest of the afternoon, I moved around the edge of the pond looking for possible friends. However, I was really hungry, and the mosquitoes would be out and about soon leaving their larvae behind. Interestingly, when I was a tadpole I was purely a 'veggie'.  Now, as a full fledge frog, nothing is better than the larvae of those pesky mosquitoes. OK! OK! Back to my story.

It would not be until the next day, when I was swimming in the pond near the entrance of a contributing creek, that I used my 180º vision to seek out other frogs. To my great surprise, there they were: 3 frogs 'hanging out' together. These guys were just 'too cool' given their la-di-da stance. Perhaps they were siblings. But, nonetheless, they could not have been more relaxed as they hung with their back legs over the branch. Instinctively, I knew that this was not what a male frog should do to attract a female. But, again, my doing pull-ups did not impress 'HER' either. 

I returned to my cluster of water lilies for the evening to think about what I needed to do.  My first thought was that I should try to hang out with the three. But, how to do that since each grouping (a.k.a. Army) of frogs has its individual codes of sounds and gestures? Occasionally, when I was particularly thirsty during the evening, I would slip from my water lily into the water to absorb it through the skin patch on my stomach. I was still thinking about  'HER'.

I awoke in the morning with an excellent rest. The broad leaf of my chosen water lily had proven to be excellent in preventing me from rolling off it's edge into the water. Granted, I was getting heavier as I aged, and I would have to find a broader water lily. But, I need not do that soon. I headed out for the part of the pond where I had seen the three frogs.  There they were as I expected. Not knowing their code, I croaked as if I was in pain. They looked down from the branch to see me on my back wiggling my hind legs. In less than a minute, one of the 3 was at my side helping me up. With no details required of me, he welcomed me to join them through gestures. (Their code was rather weird.)
Having been accepted by them, I picked up on the unique calls that these guys used to communicate with each other. Soon we were communicating comfortably; they made a sincere effort to include me in their conversations. The largest of the 3 told the story of being captured by a small female human. Reportedly, she held him gently in her hands for several minutes and then placed her lips on his nose. After a minute or so of inspecting him, she returned the frog to the pond and walked away looking back several times.
He ended his story by saying several times: "What was that all about?" None of us had any idea.

It seemed that I now had my 'Army'. At one point, I mentioned seeing 'HER'. at  which point all 3 continued to just stare ahead without comment. "Hmmmmm" I thought. There was something going on with them regarding 'HER'. I spent the remainder of the afternoon by catching up on the local scene, e.g., the best spots for mosquito larvae, which of the several bridges was the best to avoid the humans, safe alternatives for resting at night other than water lilies, etc. I returned across the pond to my proven water lily for the evening excited by having made such friends.

For the next several weeks, I would return daily to spend several hours with the 'Army', now my 'Army'. I continued to avoid any mention of 'HER'. One afternoon, while returning to my particular water lily, I went past the shoreline where I had first seen 'HER'. To my great delight she was there, but on a lower branch. Again, not knowing her codes and gestures, I performed the same trick that I used to meet my 'Army'. Within minutes she was by my side and assisting me to get up. By means of her gestures, she directed me to join her on her branch. It was at that point that my necessities as an adult male kicked in. My natural shyness had been replaced with some anxiousness. This was the first female with whom I had interacted directly. Not sure why, but once I settled onto the branch next to her, my hind left leg began to twitch. I shifted my weight onto that leg only to have my right hind leg take up the beat. I could feel my heart beating against my chest as never before.

The time with 'HER' was passing too quickly as we were translating and learning each other's codes and gestures. Actually, how she communicated was VERY similar to that of the guys for a VERY good reason. When I mentioned my 'Army', she sat up on her hind legs and looked directly at me. She asked me where they were located in the pond. When I told her, she lowered herself on the branch and gestured that they are her brothers. The three (jerks) had purposely not included her in their life, and she was left to be on her own in the pond. I was conflicted. I really wanted to be included in the 'Army', but she was becoming increasingly amazing to me.  How could I justifiy dealing comfortably with both sides of this family's dysfunction. Now I understood the silence by the guys when I first mentioned 'HER' to them. She noticed my stress and asked if I had fully recover from whatever had happened on the ground. She misunderstood what was my sadness and concern for her.

It was time for me to leave, and I mentioned that I may come by again in the next several days.  Without saying so, she seemed pleased. As I started to leave, she casually commented: "I think you should not do any pull-ups for several days." As she was continuing up the branch to leave, I realized that she had seen me that first day. "WOW, She is a clever one and just 'too cool' like her brothers."

The weather the next 2 days was horrendous. I had no problem with the rain itself, but the excessive wind was too dangerous to be on the ground and especially hazardous in the trees.  On the third day the sun was out, and the shallow water along the pond's edge was brown with the dirt from the rain drainage. I quickly scurried through that murky water to get on shore so as to visit 'HER'. I was quite dismayed when I got to her tree and found it on the ground, roots and all. I spent the morning looking in the area for signs of 'HER'. But there were none. Again, my heart was beating against my chest given my fear that she had suffered some type of injury, or worse, with the downing of the tree by the storm. After several hours of looking, I headed back to my favorite water lily to spend the remainder of the day in the sorrow that I might not be able to be with her again.

The next morning, I was up early just as the reflection of the brillant red sunrise was fading on the Eastern portion of the pond. My thought was to check her area once again. If nothing was found that could lead me to 'HER', then I would seek out her siblings (jerks) and inform them accordingly. I felt that they needed to know even though they had functionally abandoned her. It only took several minutes to get to the fallen tree. Again, I found no signs of 'HER'. So! I proceeded to visit the guys. Indeed, they were there, and their tree showed no damage. However, another frog had joined them. It was not until I was directly under them that I could see 'HER'. My heart began pounding again as I climbed up to join them. She expressed her joy in seeing me. The guys were confused how this could be. After I explained my efforts to find her, she explained to them my visiting her. She then explained to me that as the storm began to get quite severe, all 3 came to find her to bring her back to their location for safety. Just as she left her tree, it was struck be lightning and crashed to the ground. OK! so maybe they were not such 'jerks'.The guys readily sensed my interest in her as well her attraction to me. As I continued light conversation with her to reduce any residual tension, I could see the three guys talking amongst themselves. In a few moments, they were gone leaving the branch for the two of us. So, I started: "My name is Jeremiah" wink She then responded: "I like that. My name is Silk" I then suggested that she may enjoy my part of the pond as a new home given all of the broad water lilies. She responded simply "Let's check that out. Lead the way, my would-be hero."

Silk and I now have our own set of water lilies.




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