Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Chapter 25: Frog Day

After learning that today is the International Save the Frogs day, I went over to the Frog Dwelling, brimming with excitement (for today was certainly a day which saving the Frogs would have been wondrous) and anticipating quite a happy conversation, I instead gasped upon reaching the Frog Dwelling.  

For there was Mote, the meekest of the Frogs, sitting on the rocks, looking quite pained and out of sorts.  I immediately reached in to cradle her in my hands (the Frogs frequently enjoy the warmth of a hand.)  She refused my offer, saying that any sudden movement would pain her extremely.  Mortified with worry and concern, I immediately asked her what was wrong, and began looking for the other Frogs, who would perhaps know what was wrong with the most athletic, most personable Frog that surely ever hopped among the lily pads.

Mote looked quite pained and out of sorts

I heard Mote's voice as a murmur, a far-away shadow, so distressed I was to hear of her pain, and so intent on finding a cure or hint from the other Frogs, who surely had some piece of Frog-lore that could remedy Mote's sickness.

But my problems compounded, for I found both Peaseblossom and Mustardseed in much the same state - huddled with their Frog-feet around their stomachs, bent over with pain.

So close I came to hysterics, at the possibility of losing of the Compasses of my Soul (incarnated in the minds of my Frog friends) that I nearly fainted.

After righting myself and reigning in my consciousness - strange how one can never will one's consciousness anywhere except home - I tried to catch up to what Mote was saying, forgetting that she was in fact speaking to me during my hysterics.  

Mote said that I should stop worrying, but that I should in fact worry very deeply, to the core of my soul.  Stop worrying because she and Mustardseed and Peaseblossom were in fact very fine, in good health, and thriving, but that I should worry very deeply because at this moment, at precisely 11:17 on April 28th, known by Men as International Save the Frogs day, all Frogs "collect their Froggity into one: combining all their emotions, their thoughts, their musings, and their conditions into one great Communal Consciousness-Pond, so that all may feel the general condition of Frogs as a group, and thus act accordingly to respond to any needed tasks."

I gaped at this - upon discovering a Communal Consciousness among the Frogs, wondering at the greatness of it, the advantages of such a ritual, the well-being that this must surely create among Frogs and all things associated.

And then my heart sank, for I then saw the real ramifications: my Froggy friends were writhing not because of their own pain, but because the overwhelming pain of other Frogs, suffering from terrible toxins, pernicious ailments, and general Frog habitat destruction and contamination due to the wanton actions of my own race.  Doubled over with bellies full of mercury-food, pained and confused due to the strange temperatures and drought, and terribly disheartened because of the Frogs' neglected state, their forgotten talents, their wasted love for the world and for Men.

It would be over in thirty minutes, said Mote.  I held the Frogs in my hands, sniffling to myself, looking the other way, keeping back the flood, for I cared so much for my Friends, realizing how important they had become to me and the stability of my existence - true bastions, they were, friends of exquisite character, spunk, and empathy.  And I wished that my Man friends and I could share in their pain - and thus feel what we have wrought, for if we could experience what my Frog friends have gone through this night, we surely would have changed our un-Frog-like ways long, long ago.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Chapter 24: Gold

This afternoon, after finishing the old epic Beowulf (I have been reading it aloud to my Frogs,) and setting the book down with that too-satisfying feeling of having completed a book, Mote made it known that she was not quite comfortable with the description of Grendel's mother.  

Mote was not quite comfortable with the description of Grendel's Mother

Mote said that Grendel's mother had too many characteristics of Frogs, as she was Insatiable, an excellent hopper and swimmer, and could easily remain on land or in Wet, whichever she chose.  Mote said that this close similarity was perhaps offensive, as Grendel's mother was seen as a Spawn of All that is Horrid, and is generally portrayed to be Not a Good Thing.

Peaseblossom said that perhaps Beowulf, too, was Froggity because of his abilities with many of the same things (he had to swim for three days to get to the monster's lair,) and also because of his supreme valor.

I asked the Frogs what they thought about all of the gold in the epic - the bestowing of golden diadems and rings, of shimmering corselets and beautiful bodices.  I said that the gold seemed to have an ever-present role and that it was a bit like the currency which moves the characters and plot along, making an appearance in each scene and finally providing a backdrop for the finale of the book, when Beowulf fights the dragon near the beast's hoard.  

Mote and Peaseblossom looked between each other, confused.  

Mote and Peaseblossom looked between each other, confused

Mustardseed intuited their confusion, and explained to them that currency and gold were highly prized by Men for their beauty and the power which they could bestow.  After Mote asked how this love for a certain metal could have started, Mustardseed replied, saying that once, fifteen-thousand years ago, a man found a piece of the metal, noted its peculiar coloring that reminded him of the tone of his long-deceased mother's skin, and promptly began acting like the metal was very Precious, guarding it and hoarding it, much like the dragon, and eventually convinced, through his misplaced reverence for it (it was so much like his loving mother's comforting skin,) eventually convinced through jealousy many of his friends to covet the item: the man eventually sold the item to his friend in exchange for his friend's wife, and currency through gold was born, the first transaction being for the affections of one Sour and Unfortunate Lass.

This long and unlikely story (do you not think?) over, I asked the Frogs if they had any cur-

And I dropped the question, as Mote and Peaseblossom were so interested in the Ramifications of Mustardseed's story, and now a list of things made of gold (spoons, guns, rings, boxes for rings, toilets...) that the attention was quite diverted from me, perhaps because of their lack of interest, perhaps because at that moment I started to complain about numerous friends who had borrowed from me and not Paid Back, which, due to currency, had dampened our Lovely and Flowery Friendship, for which I would pay any amount, if only the relationship could return to its previous state.