Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Froggy went a Boarding, and He Did Ride

After picking up my 3-year-old son at daycare the other day , instead of going into his usual babble about what he did or who wouldn't share their toy with him, he started blurting out, "Froggy! Froggy, Daddy!" At first I thought he was just talking about a toy he had dropped the day before in the back floorboard. I had already pulled out onto the road by that point.

"Daddy will get it when we get home," was my rehearsed reply.

"No, Daddy. Look!" I looked in the rear-view mirror, and he was pointing at my driver's side window. A tree frog must have dropped from an overhanging limb while I was parked. He was wide-eyed and clutching frantically to the glass with his little webbed feet, looking back at me at eye level. A little startled at first, at a stop sign I quickly pulled an empty drink bottle out of the floorboard and cut the top off it with my pocket knife, hoping do a little wildlife rescue. A car pulled up behind me, however, so I drove off before I could get out and catch it. It began to crawl down the glass like it was about to jump from my car.

"No!" I cried.

"What wrong, Daddy?" my son said, very concerned. I was not going to let this thing take a plunge to its death on my watch, so I started to roll down the window in hopes of catching it before it committed froggy suicide. Here I am, driving down the road with my hand out the window trying to scoop up a hitchhiking amphibian.

That's when it hopped into my car. Thankfully it didn't go for my face, because I probably would have swatted out of reflex and killed it. Instead, it landed on my dash. I could see it now, the thing was going to climb down my defrost vent and get stuck, shriveling up and leaving a stench of baking frog meat in the afternoon sun. Instead it proceeded to climb down the crack between my car door and the dash. My son was going nuts now, "Get it Daddy, get it!"

I pulled into a church parking lot and opened my car door. It had safely clung to my door, like it would crawl under a layer of tree bark. I caught it in the plastic bottle, and allowed my son to take a minute to look at it. It was breathing feverishly, like it thought we were going to eat it. There weren't any trees around nearby, so I placed it under a bush next to a tombstone in the cemetery. I'm sure someone at the church saw me and wondered what I was doing at the grave site.

No flowers, just leaving a frog.


Sharon said...

Could have been worse.. do you remember the leaches at the Shoals at Camp Tekoa? Sounds like you are having fun in Morganton, sorry I missed the Reunion last year, but I did not hear about it. You know what they say, the "locals" are the last to hear!

David Wayne Hampton: said...

Hey Sharon, good to hear from you. I missed the reunion as well, so don't feel bad. I think I only got a leech once as a camper. I miss Hendersonville. At least once a summer I take the wife and kids to Carl Sandburg's to watch the Rootabaga Stories -- then we get lunch at Hot Dog World! Take care!