Once upon a Spring…
Penny did her usual afternoon
stroll in the forest;
crocus and lily-of-the-valley
perfumed the trail.
Birds sang from treetops;
spring peepers called from the pond.
Inhaling deeply and sighing,
Penny felt a contentment
she could only find at this time of the year.
Lost in her thoughts, she
heard the loud croak of a bullfrog.
“Penny!,” it croaked.
Seven times the bullfrog croaked.
Each time Penny stepped towards it.
Penny found herself at the edge
of an artesian-fed pond hemmed with violets.
A green streak leapt into the water.
Kneeling down, she put her face close
to the clear, bubbling pool.
Catching a rippled gleam, she gasped
to see a bullfrog with a crown upon his head.
As their eyes met, the frog said,
“Penny, you’ve read a million fairy tales
about frogs who are enchanted princes.
I’m not one of them.
I was born and raised a frog.
“I must be dreaming!”
“You’re not – pinch yourself and see.”
(She did and it hurt.)
“My crown is a golden ring I found in the creek
when I went minnow-hunting one afternoon.
It fits perfectly and sets me apart from the other frogs,
especially come mating season.”
“But how can you speak to me from underwater?”
“Well, Penny, I’m not really talking out loud.
I’m communicating directly with your mind.
Frogs have had to adapt to survive
in an increasingly hostile environment.
Our breeding grounds are drying up
and too many have been bulldozed
to make way for strip malls
and housing developments.
The Maker must have felt sorry for us
and so bestowed us with mind-reading
and telepathic communication abilities.”
Penny thought: I know I’m dreaming now!
“No, my dear, you’re very much awake —
but not for long, I fear.
Tadpoles get so very hungry in the Spring.
As humans have wiped out so many species of fish,
the minnows are no longer enough.
It’s been a pleasure talking with you, Penny.
The frogs’ other bestowment
from The Maker
was a very long tongue
with a sleep barb on the end.
It shot out and hit Penny’s carotid.
She, asleep, tumbled into the crystal clear water.
The tadpoles ate well that year.
This is a poemitization of a story I wrote. You can find the story here.
Sanaa is today’s host for dVerse‘ Poetics. Sanaa says:
For today’s Poetics, I would like you to write a Gothic poem and explore the question: “Which according to you are the deepest, darkest and most concealed of human emotions?”