9/11/06

Mekko Frog




Yesterday I went for a walk along the ditch. It looked so naked. It had been shaved of the mile high weeds and flowers lining it. There was a lull in the water flow so the bottom was now only mud and occasional pools of water. In a few spots crayfish were looking for soft muck. Green heads of frogs emerged here and there. Some sunbathed then dove in alarm at the sound of humans or dogs. One wise frog was not so skittish. He sat out on a concrete abutment, taking in the day. I sat with him for a while to see what I could learn. Frogs are rare these days. Most frogs have been taken out by poisons and pesticides. This wise frog and his relatives were the most I’d seen in one place in years. Neither of us said anything as we watched the blue fall sky sweep by and the scrambling crayfish. At the back of my mind was the stack of papers on my desk, the errands, terrorist attacks by our government, and concern for my brother and his heart. The scrambling slowly unwound. When the wise frog did finally talk he noted that humans used to come and visit. And they would visit in turn. We both sat with remembering as another stream of blue passed with thoughts of clouds. We felt sad at the current state of loss in this world of progress. Somewhere along the way humans got confused and lost the way. Some still remember, I told the frog. I look for them everywhere I go. He nodded. Some of his people had forgotten too. Time pulled us both apart. We had to get on with it. We made plans to get together again. We thanked each other for the visit. When I looked back he was still there, encouraging that crayfish towards a muddy cove.

c Joy Harjo


Crayfish (Mekko Frog didn't want his photo taken)

10 comments:

Peg said...
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Peg said...

Joy, I am new to reading your blog (two days'worth), and already I am enchanted. There is a ditch through my community--we call it the canal--along which I often walk. There are swallows, quail, an occassional duck, but so far no frogs. But perhaps I am not looking or listening closely enough. Thank you for the reminder to pay more attention.

Peg said...

how does this work?

Peg said...
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WHITEHORSE said...

HI JOY

THANK YOU FOR ALL OF YOUR WONDERFUL STORIES.

THIS STORY REMINDS ME OF AN EXPERIENCE WHICH I HAD SEVERAL YEARS AGO.
I WAS SHARING WITH MY ART STUDENTS ABOUT HOW RECENT STUDIES (AT THAT TIME) HAD SHOWN THAT FROGS HAD BEEN DYING WORLDWIDE AT ALARMING RATES.
IT WAS HYPOTHESISED THAT IT WAS DUE TO NOT ONLY THE USUAL POLLUTANTS; BUT ESPECIALLY TO HARMFUL UV RAYS COMING THROUGH A MUCH THINNER OZONE LAYER.
IT WAS PROJECTED THAT AT THE SAME RATE OF DECLINE, POSSIBLY ALL AMPHIBIANS COULD BE EXTINCT BY 2025.

I SPOKE WITH THE STUDENTS ABOUT OUR"MOTHER EARTH" AND HOW WE ARE ALL RELATED AND ALL CONNECTED.

AFTER DISCUSSING WHAT THIS MASS EXTINCTION COULD MEAN TO ALL LIFE ON THE PLANET, EACH STUDENT WAS ASKED TO CHOOSE A FROG OR OTHER AMPHIBIAN TO BECOME THE SUBJECT OF AN ART PROJECT.
BESIDES CREATING SOME IMAGE, THEY HAD TO DO SOME FURTHER RESEARCH ABOUT THEIR SUBJECT AND REPORT TO THE CLASS.

THE NEXT EVENING AROUND DUSK, I WAS KNEELING WHILE WORKING NEAR A POND OUT IN THE HORSE PASTURE.
AS I JUST HAPPENED TO LOOK DOWN, THERE WAS A HUGE BULLFROG SITTING QUIETLY JUST INCHES AWAY, BESIDE ME.
IT WAS A WONDERFUL ACKNOWLEDGEMENT FROM THIS RELATIVE, THAT I FELT IN MY HEART AT THAT MOMENT, AND IT BROUGHT TEARS TO MY EYES, AS I FELT THE FLOW OF THE MYSTERY.

WHITEHORSE

Niisittapiiakki said...

Oki my long lost soul sister, I finally found you again.
it has been awhile since we last spoke. However all is well and life is magical. Just like your beautiful friends you visited on your walk. Thank you for sharing your powerful story, it comforted and inspired me to know that throughout and amidst all this kaos in our day and time. Life is beautiful, sweet, too short, and so simple.

chilocco creek said...

I stood in the arena and as we danced to the Gourd Songs an ant crossed in front of me, he spoke about our beginning and he showed me that his message was one of "remembering" remember how small we really are on this mother earth, yet we also "must" remember where we came from, we come from the earth and we will return in body as our spirits go on too our ancestors, these creatures are the teachers, the frog and the ant,

one more survivor said...

Frog story:
My son brought back this modern story from Puerto Rico.
In Puerto Rico they have beautiful colorful frogs that sing. Scientists have taken a few of the frogs to be studied in other places trying to understand what makes their sound so different, but when they take them out of Puerto Rico they forget how to sing.

one more survivor said...

Apparently not all of this kind of frog forgets how to sing.

BlueHorseFlying said...

Hi Joy...I've noticed the very big decline in Frogs, Toads, Salamanders here. I listened for them but heard little...saw few. Turtles too.
When a little girl after moving north the first time from East Tennessee, our family including Uncle Lee went back to visit Grandma and other relatives.
The new highway was not started then so it was the 2 lane roads that went through woods meadows, hills with twists and turns. At night it rained. HARD. I know what they mean when "it's pouring buckets". It was dark and the old 50's Oldsmobile's wipers barely did a thing...especially keeping big green and cream colored frogs off the windshield. Buckets and troughs of them too..maybe they were Leopard Frogs....I can still see it all like it happened today. Me rigid and still...thinking how can my Papa see with all that rain..and the curves on the mountain road thick bordered with trees and bushes....what's past those trees?... a deep steep canyon?...holler?....and the frogs...seeing them falling from somewhere...sticking onto the windshield...the whole car...my Papa... attention on driving and not blinking shocked...Uncle Lee..his eyes big and terrified...me frozen but my eyes can move and notice everything.....Raining frogs like poured from big water filled buckets...one after another.
I wonder if there will be buckets of frogs left anymore.