Fredericka the Frog

Fredericka is a friendly frog
who lives outside my house.
She's bigger than a bumble bee,
but smaller than a mouse.

Sometimes I see her little green body,
especially just before night
when up the back porch wall she climbs
and clings beneath the light.

She waits in deathlike stillness,
rarely blinks a single eye
prepared, as all wise frogs should be,
to catch sight of a fly.

With precision aim and laser speed
a tongue shoots over her lip
to catch an unsuspecting bug
inside its sticky grip.

She sucks it in.
I turn my head.
I cannot watch it done.
I'll think no more upon this scene.
I'll sleep till morning sun.

But come the daylight, she is gone,
hiding in the leaves.
Or maybe, if she has a mind to,
climbing through the weeds.

I grasp the plastic watering can
I keep beside her place
and carry it to the flower bed,
to give the daisies a taste.

The water flows, then slows, then stops—
the spout seems to be clogged.
I shake the can and pour once more
to find it has been frogged!

A tiny green snout is poking out
from where the water should go,
It is none other than Fredericka,
the froggie I love so!

"Are you hurt?" I caringly ask.
My heart begins to ache.
To my surprise, she questions back,
"Why do you drain my lake?"

"This vessel is not your private lake—
it holds water for my flowers."
"But it is my lake!" She gives me a look.
"I've been swimming here for hours."

"Well, it can't be more than twenty-four,
'cause I filled it just yesterday."
At that, her webbed green toes take hold
and she quickly jumps away.

Into the forest of daisies she dives
and disappears from sight.
I do not see her again for weeks,
nor hear her sing at night.

But I fill the watering can each day
before the sunlight dims
so if, by chance,
she comes back home,
she'll have a place to swim.
~  ~  ~
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