Discover more from Captive Liberty
The Bullfrog and the Heron
The river sings of many things
And many lives are lost there.
The eco-shelves and river dells
Bleed meek as spring melts hotter.
The gentle homes by toadstool domes
Feed crueler beasts with loved ones.
The weary families of the stream
Raise babies for the feeding
Of the mouths of monstrous fowls
from whose protection their left needing.
The heron's mouth had grown too thin
To fit the bullfrog in it.
But heron's beak can cleverly
Make sounds in mimicry
And so the sightless bullfrog hears
A fellow frog-speech speaker;
The bullfrog hears one of his own,
Believing sounds to be
The splashes and the whispers
Of his froggy family.
“Hop to the far bank,” spoke the bird
In froggy friendly tones.
“We’ll find there tasty dragonflies
and tender lizard bones.”
“My wife I hear your voice,” said he,
“Why come you not to me?”
“My blind frog eyes perceive you not,
But let me touch your knee.”
“Wicked husband,” said the bird,
in froggy voice so true,
“If you would get us more to eat,
I would not feel so blue.”
“My wife,” the bullfrog said out loud,
“The herons used to come,
To the spot you indicate
On river bank therefrom.”
“Your eyes are bad,” the heron said,
stil apeing Bullfrog's wife.
“The herons all have left that spot;
It teems with tasty life.”
Bullfrog hesitated still,
“Your voice sounds off my dear;
“Are you feeling quite all right,
You aren't ill, I fear?”
“Useless husband of a frog,”
The heron wept in frog-speech.
“You croak detestable excuses
To starve my hungry needs.”
The bullfrog and the heron
hopped to the other bank.
“Now call our little pollywogs,”
The bird insisted then.
“Our tadpoles and our pollywogs
need no encouragement.
They stay safe in the little pool;
This bank is not for them!”
“Greedy, stupid husband!”
cried the heron back at him,
“You want to keep the good food here
All for your slippery self,
While our desperate hungry babies
get no healthy nourishment!”
“That isn't it at all my dear,”
the bullfrog wept in hurt,
“I cannot say why you’ve exposed
us to every flying bird
“Who may or may not happen
to see us flying past this way.
“In fact, I hear no good food here,
Though my eyes I know miss much.”
The hungry heron sighed and nearly
lost his affectation.
“If here be dragonflies or lizards,
please place one by my side,
“For I think you were mistaken, Wife,
in leading to this place.”
“Of course, dear Bullfrog,” said the bird,
“Just wait ‘til I have filled
“The barren, weak and empty hole
of my own hungry throat—
“But why have you a heart so cold,
That you'd deny our precious sons
“And girls that sweet delight of food
While you await your own?”
“What food you mean?” The bullfrog asked.
“There's nothing here for them!”
“Call our tadpoles over now!
Blind age ignores abundance!”
Against his better judgment,
The bullfrog acquiesced.
He called his countless offspring to
the far shore for their lunch.
And as he waited their response,
broodingly grew his hunch.
“Wife, love,” he croaked with trepidation,
“This has been a mistake.”
“Our pretty ones have reached us not,
Where can they be instead?
“I should have left them in their pool,
In safety, in their beds!”
The bullfrog's wife did not respond,
For she'd all day been dead.
Thanks for reading Captive Liberty! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.