Four jobs ago, the guy that sat across from me used to ask every day, “how are the frogs doing?” I guess it’s been quite some time, then, since our plague showed up. Exodus notwithstanding, we sorta kinda love these guys.
We have two window wells allowing a bunch of light into our basement. They also allow a bunch of amphibians. Maybe they fall in; perhaps they burrow, but every year toads and frogs show up for extended stays. I took to putting upside down frisbees in their habitats to collect rainwater and maybe even attract more flies. Our visitors appreciate the accommodations and I regularly find them soaking there, staring at me enigmatically.
In the morning when I let the dogs upstairs, we have a ritual where the dogs and I check in with the guests to see how many there are and if the population has been attacked by a rogue mole which every now and again runs rampant through the colony, decimating them then dying almost instantly.
They make me feel good about myself. Years ago I read reports about the mysterious declining frog population. If they’ve decided to seek refuge at our place, we must be good people. “You can’t fool a frog,” my great grand pappy used to say.
But if our home offers a respite, a way-station or even just a break from the work-a-day world then I’m happy to add that to the list of positive things about myself. The fact that I don’t rescue and release them doesn’t detract from my goodness as a human being, at least in my limited view of self. We’ll usher out the bunnies or mice, even if it takes hours to help them understand their escape options, (and sign the hold-harmless waiver).
There’s something about the mystery and wonderment of having these creatures show up. They add a bit of depth to our existence. In Egyptian mythology they represent life and fertility. African myth portrays them as representatives of transformation and rebirth. And in Japan they’re all about good luck.
I’ll take all those associations and more. I can use all the luck and life and transformation I can get. Fertility? Not so much. But hey, I shouldn’t throw the baby out with the frisbee water.
And as if they got together and decided to tax the limits of my symbology, lately they’ve decided to segregate themselves. The frogs have taken the right window well as their own while the toads hopped to the left one. This simply has to mean something but each time I check in with them, they stare at me as if to say, “duh.”
I can’t help thinking they’re messing with me, like merry tricksters or cosmic clowns trying to elevate my thinking to higher levels. Pretty heavy philosophy I’m dropping on Kermit’s kin. By no means do I think I’ll ever figure it out, rationally anyway. Perhaps I’ll come to some understanding that resonates on a deeper level with me. But it’ll most likely sound silly and if I share my conclusion, I’m guessing you’ll stare blankly at me, like my boarders do every morning.