First I wrote about a bright green tree frog and my grandfather, and their cross-cultural encounter. Then a tree frog matching the description of the one I wrote about showed up in my sink. So I guess that made it a sink frog, for there is not a single tree in my kitchen. So I caught the sink frog and carried it out on my porch and placed it in a potted ivy plant, where it quickly disappeared into depths of the foliage–an ivy plant frog.
I now have a lampshade frog. Best guess, it’s a male. I learned that a male’s ears, (which don’t stick out like ours do, but are flat discs behind the eyes) are equal in size to their eyes, and a female’s ears are smaller. So, I’ll call him Ferdinand.
The night I first spied Ferdinand, he was clinging to the rim of a lampshade on an outside lamp waiting for a bug to come walking around so he could bite it. I know this because, I watched a bug racing around the top of the lampshade, like, blindly and straight ahead into Ferdinand’s face!
In a blur the bug was in Ferdinand’s mouth. But when he opened his mouth to chew his food, the bug got loose, just unfolded its little wings and flew away with a story to tell.
I think it embarrassed Ferdinand, and he tried to blame it on me, I’m sure. Because the next time I looked to see Ferdinand, he had turned his body crosswise to the rim of the shade and was looking straight at me. I was quite close to him with my iPhone poised for the photo op. He was like a Mount Rushmore frog. Stone-faced. Giving me the eye-of-blame for his missed meal.
I actually lowered the phone and laughed. Figured my little pause might waste the shot, but he was funny. Just staring at me like I was the one who had messed him up. I came in on him with my camera for a closeup. He did not move. And after I took the picture, I let him know it was his own rookie move that cost him the bug.
Yes, I spoke to the frog. “Dude, don’t give me that! You shouldn’t have opened your mouth so wide.”
Ferdinand, like Uncle Remus’s Brer Tar Baby, “he ain’t sayin’ nuthin’…”
Okay, just be that way, I said to Ferdinand. And he took me at my word. ‘Cause when I reached the corner, I stopped and turned to look back him, and, still, he had not budged on the lampshade.
“Well, maybe if I hadn’t been watching, it is possible, just barely possible, mind you, mister, that you would’ve been more on your game. So, I am sorry I distracted you, and I promise to keep back next time.”
That did it. Ferdinand slid backward and dropped from sight behind the shade.
So, why do I still feel like I owe him a bug if we’re gonna get tight with each other? That face, that’s it.