Frog Pond

Pond

“What does he want?” She asked.

“I don’t know.”

He held the green frog in his hands, its sides ballooning in short bursts of wet breath.

“He just hopped right up to us,” she said.  “It’s weird.”

The two sat by the small pond his parents had dug when his hands were the size of dollar coins.  Over the years the pond had filled with the shiny orange bodies of goldfish and thick, verdant lily pads.

The boy and the girl had been watching the fish dart in lazy circles.  The boy shook the jar of food.  It was plastic with a faded red label.  The fish rushed toward them, sucking at the surface of the water whenever they heard the sound of pellets splashing above.

That’s when the frog had appeared; its black eyes peering at them from beneath one of the lily pads.  The boy and the girl had seen frogs in the pond before; they were skittish things, their long, rubber legs propelling them down into the water whenever a hand got too close.  But this frog stayed still.  It watched the children from beneath its wet canopy.

The fish had left.  No more pellets scattered the surface, and they were content with swimming in their chosen circles once again.

The children were about to leave when they heard the frog. He was floating in the water, inches in front of them.  The boy slowly lowered his hand in the water, but the frog did not move.  He let the child cradle his belly with his plump fingers and lift.

“Do you think he wants food?” the girl asked.

The boy offered the frog a brown pellet.  The frog looked away, clearly disinterested.

“No.”

“Huh.”

The boy and the girl stroked the frog’s moist back with two fingers until the boy felt the frog push into his palm with its thick legs and jumped off.