Posted by: Kathryn Hulick | March 16, 2008

Frog in Hand

Wilton, New Hampshire. September 30, 2007.

Frog in Hand

Part 1: Doorface

We’d come this far, so what was one more step?

I placed one foot inside the open door, trying to ignore the blue painted eyes boring into my back.  Was the face a warning, or an invitation?

Beyond that door was another door.  This one was closed, and latched with a simple hook and ring.  It was painted sky blue, which shouldn’t scare anybody, but after the monster face and the river crossing, I was pretty jumpy.  When Alec reached around me for the handle, I screamed.

“Aaaaugh!  What happened?”  He screamed back.

“Oh.  It’s just you.  Sorry.”  I looked back at the doorface.  Was it grinning wider now?

“Are we going to see what’s in here or what?”  Alec said, and lifted the latch.
“Uh-huh,” I answered.  The screaming was a forgotten thing already.  Alec never screamed, and if I was going to be his friend, I didn’t either.

Alec waited until my hand was on the handle, too, and we pulled at the same time.   We pulled so hard we almost fell over when the door swung open.

Inside, was a frog.

The room was small and bare, just a dusty floor, two high windows, and a small dish of disgusting brown water, presumably for the frog.

“I think he’s a prisoner!”  I whispered to Alec.

“It’s a frog,” Alec pointed out.  “It hopped over here from the river and got stuck somehow.”

“Yeah but who left the dish?  and why was the door latched?”

The frog let out a large belch-like sound and hopped one foot closer to us.

“I think he’s trying to tell us something,” I said.  But when I reached down to pick up the creature, Alec grabbed my arm.

“It could be poisonous!”

“Come on, it’s a frog, you said so yourself!”

I couldn’t believe Alec was so uncomfortable.  This was the guy who once stood up to the sixth graders in a fight and keep control of the soccer field for us.  This was the guy who knew a zillion crazy tricks on his bike and never ever cried when he fell.  And he was scared of a frog?

“Come on Ivan, there’s nothing here.  Let’s get back to the river.”

“Not yet,” I said, and raced back outside.  I grabbed the first leaf I saw and carried it back to the tiny room.  “Here you go,” I said to the frog, and offered him my hand.

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  1. […] Part 2: Frog in Hand  […]


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