Sunday, May 10, 2009

Great Things Gone Away

Thing was so big that I'd have wrecked had I run over it. Right there in the middle of the trail, the size of a golden Costco ham. A humongous frog. A bullfrog, I think one would say. A damned huge Arapahoe County Grand Champion Jumping Frog bullfrog. I didn't know they grew them that big around here. Amazing, green, wet animal, holding his ground. Top of his food chain. Frowning. Drooling, maybe. Waiting for a squirrel to get just a little too close.
I stopped to observe, and to wonder. Where is he going? What's he doing here? Should I move him? What if someone came around and ran over him? Why here? Why now? What does this mean? Who am I?
I stood there transfixed, and at the moment I thought to reach down and touch him he was suddenly flying through the air, all legs and arms flailing in a fifteen-foot Superman leap down onto the rocks, with a quick recovery and then another stupendous jump into the river. And then he was gone. And I, inexplicably, thought to myself that no-one would ever see him again.
Next time I was there, that path was gone. The great old timbered walk hanging out over the rocks, with the splintery rail and the fifteen-foot drop into the rapids, ripped out and hauled off, the trail moved up-grade away from the river and paved with nice smooth safe boring blacktop. With a painted centerline. Improved, as they say. And as I rode past and looked through the fence to where there was no longer a trail, I remembered that frog, and I understood.

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