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K Kalmes

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Fractious Fairy Tales - The Bullfrog and the Firefly
By K Kalmes
Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Rated "G" by the Author.

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There was a lovely pond nestled in an out of the way corner of Garfield Park. The park was blessed with a beautiful lagoon where people could canoe and fish along its shores.

The Bullfrog and the Firefly

There was a lovely pond nestled in an out of the way corner of Garfield Park. The park was blessed with a beautiful lagoon where people could canoe and fish along its shores. Overlooking the park was a spectacular building with a golden dome. All who resided in the pond were intrigued by the park, the lagoon and the golden domed building, but most would never see them up close. It was too far away for most pond residents to travel.

The golden dome building was especially beautiful at night when it was lit with hundreds of lights shining up at its majesty. It glowed in the night sky surrounded by twinkling stars and only those from the pond who could fly or climb to the tops of the trees could witness the splendor first hand.

Andrew the Firefly was the resident pond expert of the park, lagoon and the golden dome. He was able to flit through the dense brush, over the calm waters of the lagoon shimmering in the light of the moon, and up to the tip-top of the golden dome. Every evening he would make the journey to the top of the dome and fly back to bring news of the night's activities to his friend Freddy the Bullfrog.

Andrew would navigate through the brush along the pond, greeting friends along the way and light upon Freddy's lily pad to weave a tale of beauty, intrigue and splendor.

"It's still there glowing like the biggest luminous bottomous, I have ever seen." Andrew tells almost the same tale every night with some variation punctuated with a luminous bottomous light show of his own.

"Wow, I sure wish I could see it up close, Andy... from here it looks as small as the moon." Freddy's enthusiasm is followed by a loud bullyrump... much like the roar of a bull.

"Someday, Freddy, my friend... someday."

And that's how it went most nights in Freddy's pond near the lagoon that sat at the foot of the golden dome with the largest luminous bottomous Freddy or Andrew had ever seen. Now you might think Andrew and Freddy could not be friends considering bullfrogs eat anything that doesn't eat them first, but these two unlikely friends met many years earlier as a tadpole and larvae and have best friends for many years.

Not All Bullfrogs Are the Same

A very special night on the pond was the Fourth of July... every insect, fish, frog, bat and bird stayed out past curfew on the night that the sky lit up with a rainbow of luminous bottomous spiralling and shooting through the sky. Because this is such a special night, every living thing on the pond is on their best behaviour, meaning no predators allowed. That doesn't mean if you fly, swim, hop past the pond you aren't fair game, but on the pond every thing respects every other thing.

Freddy and Andrew especially love this night because they have always been able to respect each other and their friendship has always depended on mutual respect.

Andrew loves this night for another reason... he gets to show off his exceptional luminous bottomous techniques surrounded by shooting stars of all colors, shapes and sizes. The key to his success is staying out of their way and soaring in and out of the falling bits of heat and light without getting burned. Andrew loved weaving in and out of the bursts of colorful light and the thunderous, exploding star bursts as Freddy looked on beaming with pride.

As Andrew zipped through the brush making his way back to the pond on this very special night he noticed something was very strange. The pond was silent... no cheers rose up out of the foliage, no rustling of wings applauded him upon his return, no bullyrumps, no chirping chorus of crickets and cicadas, no leaping grasshoppers or luminous fireflies. Andrew was very suspicious of the silence and hovered high above Freddy's lily pad afraid to land in the danger of the silence.

Not able to remain under water any longer, the heads of one, two, three, four bullfrogs popped to the surface. The mucousy membrane opening and closing over their eyes flashed a warning sign to Andrew of real danger.

But where was Freddy?

Andrew soared above the pond looking for his friend, listening for his friend, but the eerie silence of the pond gave no clue where his friend could be. Andrew was scared something had hurt his friend and so he began to zip in and out of the brush around the pond, zooming like a fighter pilot dangerously close to the water between the lily pads looking for his friend. With each pass along the water a bullfrog would leap, tongue extended and plunge back into the water as Andrew dodged perilously close to this enemy.

After many minutes of this "frog fight" of soaring and plunging, flitting and zipping, Andrew was exhausted and lit upon a tree branch high above the pond, and the bullfrogs choking and spouting water dragged themselves onto their lily pads.

"What did you do with my friend, Freddy?"

"Don't worry your friend is safe and just sleeping in the brush exhausted from the fireworks of this special night," the leader of the bullfrogs, Rush lied.

"I don't believe you!" Andrew boldly retorted.

"Why wouldn't you believe me? What have I ever done to make you think I would lie about the welfare of your friend", Rush snapped back shooting his tongue out and effortlessly snatching up a mosquito flying too close.

"You'd eat your own mother."

Rush laughs, licking his lips, "and she tasted especially sweet." The other bullfrogs laugh as they snap up anything that unwittingly flies too close to their lily pads.

"You need to get out of here and leave us alone. We've haven't done anything to you and this is not your pond!" Andrew boldly challenges Rush and his bullfrogs.

"Wrong, firefly... this is our pond now and you can learn to like it or leave it... if you survive! We're taking it back and there's nothing you can do about it. Your friend Freddy was weak and unfit to rule this pond. We simply staged a coup and took our pond back."

"We'll see about that!" Andrew darted away into the night without so much as a tiny luminous bottomous.

Hail, Hail the Gangs All Here!

Rush and his bully friends did take over the pond and soon nothing survived their tongue lashings, and with each outlandish lie used to entice new prey to their lair they became more and more insidious.

"Man we got this thing licked," remarked Pauly as he scarfed down the legs of a careless dragonfly. "Nobody's got any rights in this here pond except us."

"You got that right good buddy, no one better try to tell us what 's what, I mean, we've got to be here... it's like an iconic symbol and we bullfrogs have to take a stand, you know like taking a righteous stand at the pond..."

"Shut up Glenn, you have no idea what you're saying... we took the pond because we wanted to disrupt the respectful climate that co-exists here. We're pond terrorists... that's what we are! We spread fear and hate, lies and bitterness, because that's who we are!" Sarah, the only female bullfrog in the gang lays across her lily pad provocatively, snapping at the gnats buzzing around her head.

"Shut up all of you'se guys... bunch of know-nothings. I started this here gang and I'll tell you what it's about... Power, wealth, land, owning everything and sharing nothing!" Rush jumps off the lily pad and chases a band of tadpoles that got separated from their parents. 

Organizing Support for a Clear Mandate to Secure Our Pond

"OK, every thing... this is what we got to do. First, we got to find Freddy!" Andrew is anxiously flitting around the gathering of bugs, gnats, frogs, fish, dragonflies, birds, and insects of every genus.

"Why is Freddy missing?" Freddy comes jumping out of the marsh landing on sapling that has fallen across the path in the marsh.

"Oh, my luminous bottomous, am I happy to see you!" Andrew flies circles around Freddy's head until both of them are dizzy and Andrew drops onto Freddy's back.

"I'm sorry, I had to go get help... I prayed you wouldn't get snapped up by one of those bullies, but I couldn't wait around. These are some of the things living in ponds, marshes, swamps and lagoons that Rush and his gang have destroyed with their lies and terrorism. Come on out, you don't need to be afraid here."

Slowly, Freddy's new friends come slithering, slinking, jumping, crawling, flying and climbing out of the underbrush of the marsh. There are thousands of mosquitoes, snails, frogs, birds, gnats, dragonflies, butterflies, beetles, spiders, everything that lives in the marsh, ponds and lagoons surrounding their pond.

"We needed an army to defend and protect ourselves from Rush's gang and now we need a plan," Freddy is a natural born leader and rallies the grassroots army that will defeat the nefarious Bullfrog Gang.

"I'm asking you to believe, not just in my ability to bring about change in our pond, I'm asking you to believe in yours." The crowd cheers, flapping wings in applause, rubbing legs in concert with chirping birds, bullyrumps crescendo as scores of frogs join in the chorus with splashing fish, and swaggering trees... the unity of the pond inhabitants are a mighty, determined, grassroots army ready to do battle with the gang of thugs that have invaded their pond and turned thing against thing in a battle of survival of the righteous.

A Clear Victory for Change to Keep Present Blessings

The battle was barely a skirmish... when the army of pond inhabitants swarmed their natural habitat in full force, the Bullfrog Gang being the true bullies they were turned tail and leapt to safer ground followed by a swarm of bees, hornets, bats, and night-swallows that chased them for miles.

Exhausted and terrified by the cohesive, army of inhabitants from the pond who were willing to fight for their beliefs, for their freedom to live without intimidation from bullies, and the right to live secure in their own homeland... the pond residents prevailed over the Bullfrog Gang.

The Bullfrog Gang may have slinked into another pond or marsh or lagoon and whether they learned a valuable lesson about wanting things that didn't belong only to them at the expense of the true blessings that belonged to all things is not known. We can only hope they learned to count their blessings over their imagined benefits of bullying others.

Freddy became the leader of the pond with Andrew as his trusting friend and Chief of Staff. He was a benevolent, fair-minded, hard-working leader determined to ensure all things were equal in the pond of the free and the home of the brave.

"This victory alone is not the change we seek —
it is only the chance for us to make that change."

President Barack Obama


       Web Site: Fractious Fairy Tales - Imaginary Benefits and Present Blessings

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