For this author, creative endeavors have been sorely tested by motherhood. But also transformed, and in ways she wouldn’t have imagined – couldn’t have, without her life “rewritten” as it has been, by her children. So linger here, to read all things weaverly, writerly and motherly.


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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Plea

Trifecta weekly word challenge: "new":

This was new to her. This affinity she had with amphibians. Rather, water frogs. Her son's African Dwarf, actually. He'd won the dull little brown frog in the classroom lottery, bringing him home in a tupperware container.

She'd poured him into the old beta fish bowl. Then boiled a few rocks from the garden and plunked them in – She wasn't going to invest again in pretty colored gravel and plastic trees; she knew how this would go, the same way the beta fish had gone – the frog would be ignored except when she was the one to remember to feed it.

Though as ignored as Blooney the blue beta fish had been, he'd been far more responsive; when she came into the kitchen, he was always there at the glass, fins waggling, as eager as a puppy.

The frog was not eager. Just earnest.

When the frog was small, it hid beneath the rocks. But then it grew. Big enough to knock the rocks around. There were mornings, after the kids were off to school, when she'd sit at her computer to check email and the house was so quiet, she could actually hear that, the rocks gently knocking against the glass of the bowl.

One morning, she got up to go over and look at him. His webbed feet had grown so big and awkward, she was reminded of her son as a toddler shuffling around in his daddy's too-big slippers.

The frog stared out at her. Or past her.

She dropped in a food pellet. He remained motionless except for his eyes – he looked up at the surface. His webbed "hands" were splayed as if in supplication. Until the pellet dropped. He sprang. Gulped. Then returned to his stance of supplication.

A stance she recognized. They were one and the same. Both trapped in their own bowls, where their pleas for help raised up could not be heard above the watery surface.




Amy Morgan said...

Sandra - I loved this and the comparison at the end. You knew he was pleading to be out, yet I didn't make the connection to the person feeling the same connection. And the distinction pointed out in: "The frog was not eager. Just earnest." is wonderful!

Ruby's said...

You have written beautifully.

Gina said...

I didn't put this together until the 2nd to last paragraph with it's "supplication". This makes me sad which means you wrote it very well.

Journey of Life said...

I wouldn't want to live in that bowl ... at the least he has his familiar playground/the rock. And being fed by her ...

Rachael said...

Lots of great imagery. With shoe-loving toddlers of my own, that comparison brought a smile to my face!

Kathy said...

Poor froggy wants to be free. Happy to eat though.


Lucy said...

Nice! A story that all us moms can relate to.

Anonymous said...

Oh, dear. Now I want to go return the frog to the wild!

The Gal Herself said...

I loved how you showed that we can see ourselves through nature (even as I felt very bad for her at the end). Nicely done.

Anonymous said...

Ugh...we've been down the betta fish road. Thank goodness a frog hasn't followed.

I like how you showed the similarity between the frog and mom in the end.

According to Mags... said...

Darn Betta fish. They drop like flies in this house. Interesting connection between the mom and from. Well written.

Anonymous said...

creative use of the word! nicepost and a good read in all.

rashmenon said...

loved it :) and i can only stand back and admire the parallel drawn.

Lynn Proctor said...

oh this was so sad and touching to me, i almost cried--i have a real soft spot for animals in tanks or cages--lovely writing

Anonymous said...

I love the detail of the rocks clinking against the glass bowl. I expected this to be an "exasperated mother" sort of post (considering your intro at the top of the page, and my own exasperated mother lens), but you took it much deeper. Very nicely done!

Anonymous said...

This lottery is something I pray not to win. A frog! The very idea. :-)

There's a reason I am reluctant to let the little people in our house have pets - I might end up like the mommy in the story. ;-)

I enjoyed reading this response.


R.L.W. said...

Aw, poor frog. Well written, good work!

Anonymous said...

Not sure if my last comment went through or not. But what I was trying to say was: thanks for linking up with Trifecta. I loved this story. Your images here are crisp and memorable. And (as someone else said) the message is deeper than originally anticipated. Nice job.

Anonymous said...

Those last lines are chilling. The connection foreshadowed in the first lines really comes to fruition as they both lie in supplication, seeming almost dead until some crumb falls.

On frogs, though, I have a funny story. One year, a tree frog laid her eggs in our aboveground swimming pool. Mom immediately stopped putting in chemicals and let the thing go to algae and mosquitoes. The eggs hatched, and she suddenly had to put the pool ladder back in so that when the tadpoles morphed to frogs, they didn't drown.

The next year, she scooped off the tree frog eggs and moved them to their own pool, a plastic baby pool purchased just for the purpose.

The year after that, she dug a small pond.

Two years later, she added another.

It's been fifteen or twenty years now, and she still has an annual tadpole experiment in her yard. She sends my niece out now to scoop, skim, and rescue, and she feels personally responsible for any eggs lost in the transfer. Feels guilty that tadpoles are cannibalistic little buggers and that many of the frogs who hatch become lunch for their siblings.

Anyway, your story made me think of that.

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