Little Green Frogs

© Rodney Cox

If I lived in a world devoid of little green frogs, I would live in a paradise of wonder and beauty beyond all imagining. A world where the hopes and dreams of a person blossom and spring forth as the wild flowers in the field. If I lived in such a world, a world without little green frogs, I would be happy forever and know no worry or care. Rain of happiness would fall down upon me in an unending shower of bliss. The people and the nations of the world would unite in harmony. Disease, crime, poverty, hopelessness would vanish. Peace would cover the globe and extend outward into the heavens toward other civilizations. Compassion would fill the streets, allowing true love to be experienced by all and they would know, truly know, of the Brotherhood of Humankind.

The Earth would be made beautiful and whole again. Cities would blend harmoniously with the landscape in a single precious ecosystem. Mankind would fight the world no longer. Humans would see that life is precious and that preservation of that life benefited all in the long run. All water and soil would be clean and pure. Life would flourish. No longer would species become extinct. All would live in their proper place.

All this save for those vile amphibians. How I loath those little green frogs. Those frogs which have brought so much misery to my life. They killed my family, these horrible things. They killed my father. They killed my mother. They killed my sweet little sister, Greta. And they killed my beloved angelic Anna, whom I was to marry. Killed. Gone. Taken from me by the little green frogs.
Why? I asked. Why have you done this thing to me? Why? Oh, you vile frogs! You loathsome hopping things.

I thought perhaps a day, some time ago, held the answers. Some months back as I was on an extended fishing trip in a wetland area, I stepped on a little green frog. I had not meant to. It hopped right under my boot as I was stepping down. I wasn’t even aware of it until I felt a soft, yet somehow firm lump under my foot. Looking down I beheld its tiny still body. A part of me even wept at this senseless, tragic death. But a greater part of me held another thought. Not an evil thought. No, quite the contrary really, given the circumstances of the time. I reached down, slowly, and picked up the lifeless body. It barely fit in my palm, it was so tiny. As I held the body I lifted my head toward the open water where the splash of fish chasing insects spread ripples intermittently across the surface.

It would make excellent bait.

I took the little frog and gently speared it on a hook with hands that trembled perhaps from eagerness for the sport of fishing. Or maybe because a greater sense of something else...

The hook caught and, as I applied greater force, popped through. At that moment I thought I heard a tiny barely audible squeal. A hush fell around me as I strained for further sound. But nothing was heard. I cast the frog out, and just before it hit the water, I could almost see movement in its legs; a glint of life in those eyes that stared at me.

There was perhaps a tug, a nibble maybe. It was hard to tell, but when I reeled in the line for a second cast, the little green frog was gone; lost, or so I thought. These things happen to fishermen when they pit themselves against the forces that dwell beneath the surface of the waters. This had happened to me before, and I was not alarmed. But I should have been if I had any inkling of what the little green frogs had in mind.

Then came the day my dear sister Greta died. Murdered, I should amend. Struck down by a car swerving wildly to avoid hitting one, little, green frog. I stood in horror as a lone shoe came careening through the air to land at my feet. The frog fled from the scene scarcely noticed. At first I thought it was nothing but a cruel accident, but I didn’t know how wrong I was. So very wrong.
Soon afterwards they came for my parents. My father, an elderly man was on a ladder cleaning the gutters one day. My mother stood below holding the ladder for him. Each spring my father would clean the gutters as was his routine from before the War. But this time something leaped out from the gutter at him. It was a damnable little green monster. With a startled cry he tumbled backwards to land on my mother. Both were dead before help came. Several frogs were found on the premises. The authorities thought nothing of it, but I knew the truth. I knew what had happened. They were buried next to my little Greta in the cemetery. It rained on the day of the funeral and I too wept bitter tears.
Oh, to live in a world without little green frogs. That would indeed be a miracle. I long with my entire being to be free from these things. The pain they have brought me is incalculable and intolerable.

But they were just warming up. They still had plans for me. Of that you can be sure. They will not stop until they have utterly destroyed me.
The loss of my sister and parents within a month would have overwhelmed anyone. I almost succumbed to my sorrow but for the love of my fiancée. She was a bright light in the dark night of my soul. With her I could weather anything those devilish amphibians could send. When they gathered at my window to stare with fixed fascination at me, I felt at ease for my Anna was with me.
So they conspired to take her from me.

As we lay sleeping they came for her. I awoke to find my beloved non-responsive. I called to her, shook her. Nothing. I felt for a pulse and a sound broke from me when I felt only stillness. My Anna was dead. The one thing that I cherished above all else, even my own life, was gone. But it was not over yet. To my horror, I saw movement in her throat. Could she be alive after all? As hope swelled in me I saw a small figure in her mouth. A little green frog pushed out from between her teeth. I realized then what had happened. During the night this abomination had crawled underneath the door, and made its way to the bedroom. Then silently, stealthily, had crawled down her throat and blocked her airway.
I grabbed up the frog in a rage and hurled it against the wall. I stomped upon it until the only thing that remained was a thin film. I stumbled about the house knocking things over, howling with pain and loss. I vowed to kill them all. To the end of my days I would kill and kill until not a single one survived. But as I went out to commence my cleansing I could find no frogs. I was mad with a need for revenge, but here was nothing. How could I fight back? How could I express my anger and hatred?

Finally, exhausted by my fruitless searching, I came back. I had nothing to live for. The frogs had seen to that. I went to the bathroom cupboard and got out a razor blade. I turned on the warm water. I would end it now. There was nothing left for me here.

Just as I was about to make the first cut I glanced up at the window. There gathered, were the little green frogs, victory glinting in their eyes. They sat and watched and waited.

I threw the razor blade at the window. I would not give them the satisfaction. They would not beat me. I was stronger then them. Was I not a Man, the chosen of God’s creatures?

I spent much time weeping in those days and even after Anna’s funeral, but I managed to hang on. Despite the baleful stares of my companions. I took victory that I was still alive. That I could withstand them.
I resist them even today, although I must admit it has grown hard of late. They gather wherever I go now. I cannot escape them or their hateful eyes. It works upon my mind and burrows into my soul. I am so tired. Yet I will not give in. I don’t leave the house anymore, I’ve not kept it in good shape. I must be constantly vigilant against the horrid little frogs. I sit in my chair watching as they gather outside the windows. Scores of them pressed against the glass peering in. How I hate them.

I found a shovel in the cellar. A big black iron one from when houses were heated with coal. I will rush out and kill the frogs as they sit there outside my door. I pick up the shovel and head toward the door. But their hate stops me like a wall. I can no longer bear their staring at me. I can’t stand the waves of hate they emanate. I find it difficult to breathe. With a cry I drop the shovel and run to my bedroom. Collapsing on the floor, I weep uncontrollably and shake violently. Maybe I’ll try again tomorrow. Will I never be free of these little green frogs? Can no one save me? In the distance I can hear the sound of their laughter. There is no worse sound in all creation.

If I lived in a world devoid of little green frogs, I would live in a paradise of wonder and beauty beyond all imagining.




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