Frogs’ eggs

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When I was a child, I collected things. I collected frogs’ eggs. The eggs were dark and embedded in masses of jelly. They were dark spots, like the nucleus of an amoeba. I would gather them in my hands, huge clusters of frogs’ eggs, gathered in. In the jar sitting in the sun, the water would turn yellow and smell of dank pond. The grasses would cling to the edges of the jar. The eggs would begin hatching, eggs turning into tiny tadpoles with black tails.

The small tadpoles would grow and squirm along the jar’s edge and finally I would let them go free back in the pond. I would lie along the shore of the pond and watch the tadpoles go free, they would swim along the edge looking for bugs to eat. Then they became frogs with no more tails. The boys liked toads. They liked climbing trees and I did too. I remember climbing the trees like a boy and scraping all the skin off my legs so they weltered.

Growing up was fine; it was all about risking as much damage to ourselves as the grownups would allow. It was about fires and floods, bear and deer in the woods, pine sap in your hair so they cut it out. One summer, I painted my whole body red with an oil based paint we used to paint the barns. I braided my hair. I wanted to be an Indian. Even bruise red and braided, my straw hair stuck out, I did not look like a Native American at all, but I imagined that I did.

I remember all that driving home from work. Lunch with Percival at York and dinner at Maximilians with Michael Alexander and Vicky. Tomorrow is a day to catch up. It’s been over one hundred all day. Much of San Diego County is on fire and the heat has only begun. I miss the frogs and the ponds, and my bare feet in those ponds. Back when the day was young, back at the beginning of my world.

Published in: on May 15, 2014 at 9:34 pm  Leave a Comment  

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