Sunday, November 23, 2008

Chapter 17: A Hop

I must apologize for the recent falling-off of new entries.  I am, however, tied up in quite a long narrative involving my most Smart and Skilled companions, which I have been working on for the past few weeks.

Please rest assured that my Friends are doing fine, and we are as magnanimous as ever.

Mustardseed has been helping me with my writings, and offering many useful insights and perspectives.  He has recently taken an interest in psychology, which we discuss at length, while I sit next to the Dwelling, late into these chilly nights.

Mote has been experimenting with materials within the tank, using them to construct more comfortable places on which to sit.  She has also been teaching Peaseblossom some of the nuances of swimming, and has also shown him a trick or two about hunting, one of which is to stalk the prey like a cat, using stealth and fluid motions.

Peaseblossom has been getting along well, and has shown much promise in his ability to snatch Morsels.  At first he was a bit timid about his companions, but they have since warmed up to each other, and they now complement each other well - Mustardseed provides direction and sagacity, Mote ensures that all the Frogs meet their dietary needs, enhance their skills, and get enough exercise, and Peaseblossom adds a bit of spontaneity, urging the Frogs to play an odd game or climb upon an unconquered plant.

I have poured many of my energies into the creation of my new work - it has been quite an explosion of inspiration.  I do not know how long the work will be, but it has been a great joy to write thus far, primarily because of the inclusion of my amphibious Friends.  The story may end up upon this electric Frog-journal.  In the meantime, I am sorry for any negligence caused by my busy-ness and urge any readers to stay posted, for there is surely more to come, as long as Frogs are Frogs.

Below, I have posted a poem that was inspired by the countenance of Mote, peering at me during the relaxed silence of a Fall evening, while I was working.  It may go at the beginning of my new work.


A Frog-
Belly embracing the ground,
Head tilted, eyes peering at me.
Bent to fit their shape is the reflection of its world:
Wet and Mud and Bugs.

I think of figures, systems, calculations, conjectures,
Potentialities, stratagems, logic-mongering,
The consequences of consequences,
Yet the Frog peers.

May my world be Wetter, Muddier,
And all my empirical efforts be Bugs,
Which, peering at their predictability and their peculiarity,
I gobble, and hop onward.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Chapter 16: Tabard

This morning, after waking up to a staunch headache, with the sun hindering my vision, I made myself a bowl of bran cereal and sat next to my Frogs, observing that Mote was next to the log, finishing a Morsel left over from last night's Hour of the Bug, and Mustardseed was swimming about, pausing at places that he could put his hind feet down.

Mustardseed's motley dorsal side glistened with moist, and he exposed his fiery ventral side to the edge of the dwelling, putting his Frog-Feet against the Impossible Barrier.  I lifted the lid to the Dwelling.

Mustardseed put his Frog-Feet against the Impossible Barrier

Remembering Mustardseed's aptitude for writing, words, and concepts, I asked him if his fiery belly had any greater significance, if it said anything about the Frogs that was not an external feature but represented something from within.

Mustardseed said that the bellies of Frogs annunciate a great weapon of Frogs, that is, their Valor.  Often, the brighter and more decorative the belly, the more valorous the Frog.  Mustardseed then told a tale of a Frog named Henry, who was perhaps the most heroic Frog, going unto many breeches and leading many Frogs to victory against a malicious army of snails.  Henry's belly was said to be as bright as the Orb of Day.

I searched and found, in my cobwebbed mind, that I had once learned that the color of Frogs and Toads represented their innate toxicity.  My knowledge told me that the greater the brightness of the Frog, the more dangerous he was, which correlated with Mustardseed's perception of the degree of danger, but not with his perception of the source of that danger.  I sided with Mustardseed's explanation, partly because it was much more satisfying and more helpful for the mind than my officious knowledge, and party because he was himself a Frog.

Mustardseed asked me if there was an example of this sort of display of valor on the bodies of Men.

I said that nature had not made it innate, but that Men had crafted skin displays for themselves.  The best example that I could think of was a medieval tabard, which is put over a knight's armor and shows his allegiance and trumpets his achievements, regardless of his true level of Froggity.  


The purpose of tabards makes a good example, I told Mustardseed, because many types of clothing function in the same way in today's Lily Pad, and, in fact, there are certain events and places which require a certain level of achievement-clothing.  If a Frog did not put on these clothes and airs of achievement while attending events of social significance, he would surely aggravate his social Phobia by attracting endless Looks Of Disapproval.  

Mote apparently heard our conversation: hopping out of her log, frolicking and swimming, she rattled off a rhyme, which is surely from deep within the guts of Frog lore:

Frog-belly bright:
Never in a fight.
Frog-belly dull:
Nervous as a gull.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Chapter 15: Owl, Camel, and Rooster

This evening, after discussing with a friend my pent excitement at the coming election, I turned to the Frogs and asked them about their day.

Mote asked why Men need someone to rule them.

Slightly Baffled, and then regaining my composure, I said that Men function much better with a bit of structure in their lives, specifically social structure, so that they have it laid out before them which things are acceptable and which are not.

Mote said that she believes oftentimes Men function much like a swarm of Morsels, hurrying about in a dizzy confusion, and that each Man loses any senses that he contained while in this swarm, making it quite unmanageable and almost purely like a swarm of flies or gnats.

Peaseblossom continued with the topic of the election, saying that the Obama spoke against this type of swarm mentality, encouraging each Man-Morsel to think independently but yet for the Greater Good, so that the swarm of Men functions not quite as well as a Morsel colony,  which would be quite hard indeed, but much better than a Morsel swarm.  

Peaseblossom then said that the McCain tends to function the other way, directing Men into a great and confused swarm, fueling the mess' formation partly through his distribution of fear and partly through a lack of Frogginess on the part of his Followers.

I asked Peaseblossom how he knew this information.  He replied that he had met the two men many times, though separated by an Impossible Barrier.  

Peaseblossom said that he had met the men, though separated by an Impossible Barrier

Peaseblossom also said that he saw through much of what they said, and could tell that the Obama reminded him not of a Frog, but perhaps an owl, which is very close to a Frog in temperament, thought, and hunting methods, which is assuredly a compliment, and that the McCain reminded him more of a Rooster, displaying a sureness that was only rooted in sureness, and not anything related to a Skill, such as Mote's Morsel-snatching prowess or Mustardseed's proficiency with concepts.

I then asked Peaseblossom which animals the secondary candidates were most like and if he thought they would help the primary rulers Direct The Swarm.

Peaseblossom belted out that the Biden was perhaps a camel, sandy and likely to spit, but could be relied on in times of little Wet, and that the Palin is not considered an animal, because she is not an organism, as she does not fulfill three of the seven required phenomena; namely, Growth, Adaptation, or Response To Stimuli.

Frog-brain working, standing with her head high, Mote said that she supports the owl and his camel, rather than the rooster and...

Mote stood with her head high

Mote stuttered, looking for a word.  

Mustardseed added, with a lunar grin:

"...And something very not-Frog."