Courage and Curiosity

We met an unexpected would-be hitchhiker last weekend.

We finished breakfast last Sunday at a local restaurant and returned to our car in the parking lot.  My husband was about to get in when he said, “You have a frog on your car door.”  Okaaaay.  There had been no alcohol consumed at that breakfast so he wasn’t seeing things.   I thought maybe someone had pasted a decal on my car. 

When I went to the other side of the car, I found a real, live little green frog clinging to the rim of the wheel well.   We stood there in amazement.  This little guy (I say guy, but it could have been a gal.) was totally out of place amidst all the concrete. 

He was beautiful with bright grass- green colored skin that was shiny like he had been buffed with a chamois cloth.  His eyes were big and bright; his feet a bit too large for the rest of his body.    The amazing thing was his tiny size, only about two inches long. 

How did this little fellow get there, we wondered.  As we watched, he hopped onto the vertical wall of the wheel well and clung to the surface.   

We couldn’t drive away with him attached in such a precarious place so my husband reached down, and our little friend hopped into his hand.  He gently closed his hand around the little guy so he could carry him safely to one of the garden beds next to the parking lot.   His little green head peeked out over the base of my husband’s thumb while his front feet hugged his hand.  It reminded me of a baby grasping a shoulder as it was being carried in a daddy’s arms.   

When my husband bent down to release him, the frog was a little hesitant to leave his hand, but eventually did.  He hopped off into the tall grasses and shredded bark.          

When I got home, I searched for pictures of this kind of frog on Wikipedia and discovered that he was an American Green Tree Frog, very common in the southeastern region of the US.  Some people keep them as pets. 

So I wondered.  Did this little guy jump out of someone’s aquarium, take advantage of open doors and hop off to the local shopping center?  A dangerous trip to be sure, since he would have had to cross a very busy road.   Did he come from a nearby creek, an even longer hop involving crossing the same road?  I’ll never know.

What impressed me the most about this little guy was his courage and curiosity.  Here he was traveling solo in the land of giants.  When you are only about two inches long, almost everything must seem enormous to you.   But here he was bravely exploring what could be a scary, even dangerous, world.  Was his little heart beating with excitement or fear?  

When we met him, there was no attempt to hide which would have been pretty difficult, given that he was bright green and everything around him was concrete.   If he was bothered or afraid, it didn’t show.  With wide bright eyes, he seemed curious about this big world and appeared to be thoroughly enjoying his adventure.   Maybe this is just what I want to believe, but he looked really, really happy. 

© Lynn Wyvill 2012

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