As a child I chased them across fields of grass taller than I, rarely, if ever, catching one. They jumped and I didn't, always returning to the nearby lake.

Picnics, just out for a ride, or an afternoon at the beach on a hot summer day, gave more to the fancy of a young boy than just swimming.

That explains why I've been acting this way. I'm a kid again or always have been.

We discovered two frogs in our small pond last year. Not a natural pond but good enough for two frogs to call home.

Don't ask me where they came from or why they decided to stay. Since creating this pond about 10 years ago I tried everything I could to make it a welcome place, a safe place for fish, fowl and frogs.

Last year it happened.

Perhaps they were passing through on the way to Harvey's Lake.

"You know it's always crowded there," said one frog to another.

"I hear they have fish big enough to swallow frogs whole!" The other replied.

"Let's stay here!" They croaked in unison.

And so I did all I could to make sure they survived our winter.

We kept a floating heater on at all times so the water didn't freeze. We had a terrible time one year when the gold fish came popping up one at a time in the spring thaw.


Even when I redesigned the pond this year I carefully placed the frogs in one container and the fish in another until I made the pond deeper and slightly wider.

"Aqua redevelopment." Could be a government program.

A few years ago we kept finding our fish half eaten on the sidewalk so we placed a fine black net across the entire thing just a few inches above the water. Nothing gets in or out.

That is almost nothing.

I worry about these frogs like they were one of my children on a sub-species level. On profile one of them looks like my great aunt.

So each time I go into the yard I stop to check on them. Depending on what time of day it is, I'll only find one. The same one every time. "Frog-dini" the magical disappearing frog seems to vanish right after sunrise each day. I see him first thing in the morning and then he's gone.

Yes, I worry about him. It's a tough world for frogs out there.

Sometimes I'd find him sitting on the rocks that surround the pond. Sometimes he's in the grass. Saturday I found him under our grill.

"How did you get out? Don't I provide everything you need? I worked hard to make this a nice home for you and then you run off like this," I said.

"I was waiting for you to say, "As long as you live under my roof you'll live by my rules!" Then I'd call the doctor and have you committed," my wife said.

"This one talks to me," I told her as I pointed to the good frog in the pond. "That one doesn't listen at all."

"Okay, I'm calling..."

"No, wait, listen. He barks like a dog," I told her.

Now I was scaring myself.

"Woof, woof, woof!"


"Come on, speak to me," I urged it.

"wooof woooooof" he replied.

"Oh, my," she added. "It does talk!"

I danced around the deck trying to catch "Frog-dini." Finally grabbing along side of the pond, I lifted him up and he suddenly jumped landing directly on the netting.

"Frog gymnastics!" My wife added. Then "splash" he landed in one of the openings I cut for the taller water plants that shoot up each year.

I scolded him verbally and made my way around the edge of the pond to find where he was getting out. Adjusting a few rocks I declared him captured once and for all.

That is until I returned home this afternoon.

"Gone again?"

"Frog-dini" the Houdini of frogs has disappeared.

Will I worry? Sure I will. But the reality is deep down inside I can relate to him.

There have been times when I felt trapped in my own life. I couldn't see myself beyond the pond I called home. I couldn't imagine that I'd be strong enough to make it on the outside. So I stayed. That is until one day I realized that there was no net above me and there wouldn't be a net below me either if I fell. There were no limits to what I could do or where I could go.

So I took that giant leap on a journey that has taken me to some of the most incredible places. I became more because I believed more. But I never forgot to return to the pond once in a while. I had stories to tell all those who never believed there was anything beyond the pond. They stayed behind the netting, the limits that others convinced them of. Content perhaps, but sadly unaware that there was so much more if only they believed.

Frog-dini believes and I worry.

"Wooooof! Wooof!" I know, he'll be back. They always come back to the pond.

Bob Perks

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