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.