Raji Singh’s Lore of the Lindian Woods
Since barely past being tadpoles Frer and Brer, the Frog Brothers have liked the little Toad Sisters. Many frog friends advise,
“Keep to your side of the pond, Brer and Frer.”
Brer and Frer do not listen. One night when they are big enough, they paddle to the opposite riverbank of the Lindian Woods pond. They call to the Toad Sisters. “Ribbet. Ribbet. Join us on our lily pads built for two. Just follow the star beams of love in our eyes.”
The gangly green Sisters giggle to each other. “Frer and Brer are so handsome. Oh how their emerald skin sparkles in moon glow. And see how quickly they catch flies.” The Sisters wink at each other. Then “PLOP”, they hop in the water and swim out.
They, too, receive advice… from Toads. “Keep to your side of the pond, Dear ones.”
They pay no attention.
Frer and Brer get on their knees, and in a gentle frog-ly way, help the girls onto their slick lily pads. Inconspicuously, with gangly legs the Brothers reach and pull the two plants into one large bachelor pad. Brer echoes Frer. “My Cheri.” “What lovely eyes you have.” They imitate older frogs they’ve seen.
The sisters turn shyly away. They pretend to snap up bugs on the pond’s surface with their long tongues. Each tries to conceal their deep breathing in of the Brothers bold, sweet scent of the pond that perfumes them.
“How agile your movements are,” says Brer.
“It’s easy for us,” a Sister says.
“Unless there be just one bug,” laughs the other. Then we risk our tongues twining and tangling.”
Brer laughs too. “What a sight that would be.” With their own skinny tongues, the Brothers try to imitate such a thing happening. They hope the Toad Sisters might join in the fun.
The Sisters don’t. But they smile. They find Frer and Brer nice, and funny.
The brothers show the Sisters how they can rub their legs, like crickets. Then they breathe slow, imitating fluttery moth sounds.
Frer and Brer are so happy that they leap into the air. They slap hands then bounce on their pads. Throughout the evening, they sing sweetly about life in the pond. The Sisters join in.
All four of them agree. “What a good time!”
A loud croak vibrates from the Woods. It is the girls’ folks. “Sisters. It is time for bug snacks before bed.”
“They probably think we’re playing on the shore. We must go.”
The Brothers look sad. Their heads droop. Frer asks timidly, “Can we see you again?”
The Sisters push out their tongues and barely brush Brer and Frer’s faces with the tips. Then they wink and smile before leaping into the pond. “We had fun tonight.”
Yes, the Toad Sisters like them, but the Sisters are young, and as many girls know, many frogs need to be kissed before you find a prince. The Toad sisters aren’t searching for their pond prince just yet.
“Maybe someday we’ll be more than friends,” they croak to the Frog Brothers as they swim back to the shore. “But not for now Frer, Brer.”
The Frogs are sad, but hopeful. “Ribbet, ribbet. “That someday will come,” they agree.
* * *
As time passes, many female frogs bat their eyes at the Frog Brothers on warm nights. They would tempt the Brothers, with flies and mosquitoes they’d offer from the tips of their tongues. Brer and Frer would sing with them on hollow logs. Sometimes the Brothers were certain these were the sweet-frogs for them.
Alas, days would go by, and the Brothers interests return to youthful pursuits like learning the many ways of catching insects with their sneaky tongues. Or, seeing how far and high they can leap without bumping into other creatures. And soon, thoughts of the Toad Sisters again fill their thoughts. Then they leap into the pond and head for a lily pad on the other side – ever hopeful.
(Join me every Sunday night at the Fiction House, your place for short story, lark, whimsy, and merriment. Meet the many residents as I archive their lives and centuries of adventures. You can read of their origins in my novel TALES OF THE FICTION HOUSE. They are completely different stories. My novel is available at Amazon, and Barnes and Noble.)
©2014 Raji Singh
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