Monday, September 12, 2011


I sit on the old pale green sofa, tugging on my knee-high purple rain boots.  My sister is rifling through stuff on the indoor porch.

"Hurry up, sister!" I call to her through the giant glass windows that separate the living room/kitchen from where she is.  I absentmindedly fiddle with the cord of the rotary phone on the stand next to me.

"Ah-ha!" My sister walks through the door, carrying a big net.  She's also wearing rain boots.

We walk over to our Oma, who is baking a peach tart in the kitchen.  She hands us two mason jars.

Giggling, we run outside, jumping down the giant first step.  We continue to run as fast as we can in our boots all the way down the lawn, until we reach the brushy area at the bottom.

We follow the path cut in the brush, up and down small bumps and large rocks, until, out of breath, we finally reach the pond.

I slowly walk around the edge, my sister following closely behind, holding out the net. PLOP! The bullfrog jumps in the pond, out of reach.  PLOP!  We giggle as she tries to catch this frog, but she only manages to stir up a bunch of mud.  Now we can't see much of anything.

For a while, we try our luck at catching the newts near the shore.  They're a lot slower than the frogs.  We put our catch into a mason jar.

But I really want to catch a frog.  I walk back to  the part of the of the pond that is the most shallow.  It is where the spring near the house trickles all the way down to the pond.  My dad recently had an excavator dig a trench so all the runoff goes into the pond, and it is the perfect place to walk in.

I feel the suction on my soles of my boots as I take my first step into the muck.  Brown muddy swirls spiral up from the bottom.  I slowly take another step, trying not to stir up too much mud.

"Sister!" I hiss, motioning her near me, "I need the net!"  She gingerly walks to the edge of the trench and leans over until I can reach the net.  Ever since she tried to walk all the way across the pond and her boot was sucked off her foot, never to be found, she has been wary of going in the water, even at the edge.

I eye the pond in front of me.  SPLASH! The net sweeps through the water and I bring it out quickly, grabbing it closed.  And there he is, struggling to find a way out.  I walk back to the grass where my sister is, and take the frog out of the net.

RIBBIT! He jumps out of my grip and makes a beeline for the pond.  My sister tries to get him, but he gets away from her too.  We chase him to the edge of the water, where he jumps in ans swims out of reach.  He stares at us, and we stare back.  We giggle.

A whistle breaks the moment.  We look up towards the house and see Oma on the porch, waving at us.  We know that means it's time for lunch.  My sister grabs the net and I take the mason jar full of newts.  We race each other back up the hill to the house.

1 comment:

  1. That's awesome! I never felt a desire to chase the critters, but I loved listening to them at night. The bullfrogs, the crickets, the coyotes. The coyotes faded away over the years, which sort of made me sad.

    But in our neighborhood now, we have a creek that is the neighbor boy's passion. Bullfrogs, turtles, tadpoles...he's a whiz. I'm always so impressed to see what he's come up with, when all I do is go sit by it to relax my brain. :)