Short story from Jack Galmitz

The Frogs

A Fable

            Beside a rivulet running along the woods just beyond the border of a suburban home, an assembly of frogs had gathered. You couldn’t mistake the croaking however far from the site you stood. It was urgent.

            “I’ve had enough” one of the more remonstrative males said. “I’ve just laid my second batch of tadpoles. It’s humiliating. Everyone is making fun of me.”

            Others joined in. They all knew they were the laughingstock of the species and the laughingstock of humans, too.

            “Soon we’ll be wearing dresses and putting on lipstick. It’s disgusting.”

            “Here here” came the general agreement echoed in the woods as more and more frogs came to join the assembled.

            “They want their little manicured lawns and sculpted hedges and they won’t tolerate wildflowers and any living thing they call a weed. And God forbid any insects should invade their little gardens. So they spray their lawns with pesticides that get into our water and we end up mutants- male frogs that get pregnant and give birth.”

            “What’s to be done” one of the more thoughtful croaked.

            “Let’s go to their Village Square in vast numbers and demonstrate” said a huge female sitting in the mud. “Perhaps, we can stage a die-in. That would generate some interest in our cause.”

“Hear hear” came a great croaking from the woods and by the rivulet and along the banks of the nearby river that ran along the town.

            “Break up into cells and report to the central committee we will establish today “said a small male frog. “We need to prepare and organize and have everyone attend. Thousands of frogs pretending to be dead in the center of their Village Square will wake them up to our existence.”

            So that day the Union of Concerned Frogs was born in the suburbs in the town of Bayville.  They quickly spread word to all frogs that lived in the neighboring townships so as to increase their numbers at the die-in.

            By the end of the night, the frogs in all the adjoining townships had organized and begun hopping under cover of night towards Bayville. There were easily tens of thousands as historians would later relate.

            As light broke on the highway, thousands of frogs could be seen moving along the edge of the road by drivers on their way to work. Some of the people were amused, some were panic stricken. There was no accounting for such an event.  It was unparalleled.

            Close to the opening of businesses, the Village Square was filled with frogs. They lay prostrate on the ground looking as if they were dead.

            As workers arrived, they were alarmed. They discussed the problem among themselves. Some suggested calling the Volunteer Fire Department. Some suggested they contact the Bayville Animal Control Center. Some of the elders who were just entering the local diner thought of the Plague on Egypt. The appearance of so many dead frogs sprawled about had a Biblical appearance to it. Children were ushered away by their parents.

            Pretty soon the fire engine of the Fire Department appeared on the scene. The hose was connected and a powerful jet of water was directed at the frogs. It lifted some of them off the ground, but when the Firefighters saw the frogs begin to stir to life, hop away and swim away, they realized there had been something else going on than at first sight appeared. Plus there were so many frogs that the hose was not going to be enough to wash them out of the Square.

            The Sanitation Department came in with the men using the great stiff brooms to sweep away the frogs. Well with thousands of frogs assembled, it was nearly impossible to make much headway in the task.

            Finally, the Animal Control Center was called in to assist. With all the Village services combined, they managed to sweep most of the frogs into huge plastic containers to be moved to the woods outside of the Village.

            Of course, the frogs were the subject of all the conversations held that day. The daily news station covered the removal effort. The story even reached some of the larger metropolitan news outlets.

            In the end, though the frogs had garnered the much needed attention they desired, no one, not one person connected their appearance to the pesticides that were genetically transforming the male frogs into egg bearing females.

            A schoolgirl, having seen the frogs that day, began to read about them. She came upon an article in a science journal that explained how humans were destroying habitats by dumping hazardous chemicals into the environment.  This schoolgirl might turn out to be the one the frogs were looking for.

4 thoughts on “Short story from Jack Galmitz

  1. This is a good teaching fable. I could see it as a children’s picture book. Love the Union of Concerned Frogs and the die in idea. And just maybe that school girl will help. We can live in hope.

  2. Thank you for your appreciation Marjorie.
    I’m grateful to you for taking the time to read the story and comment on it to me.
    Besides the need for concern for our Nature, for our Greater Self, we could all use lessons like yours in caring about others. It’s become increasingly rare isn’t it?
    All my best to you,

  3. Hi Jack, I think people still care but it doesn’t make headline news. One has to listen carefully in daily conversations and exchanges. I read a book recently by an astrophysicist, Adam Frank, who said it’s not about saving the planet. Earth will go happily on with or without is. But it’s about saving our civilization. I’ve been wondering if our civilization is worth saving.
    with all good wishes,

  4. Very good, Marjorie.
    It would be interesting to consider a different civilization I think.
    I mean to utterly question every assumption that goes into a civilization seems required doesn’t it.
    You’re right about listening to small exchanges. They do offer other things, though, than signs of caring.
    I was glad to hear you read the Gurdjieff ( sp?) materials. It’s been so long since I heard the name mentioned. 🙂

Comments are closed.