“You’re really pretty,” he said to the frog on the poinsettia bush. He pushed his finger softly against its slimy pea-green chest.
“But why are you here, Froggy?”
Froggy croaked and billowed his chest in a bursting ribbit, causing the boy to fall back on the grass in mild surprise.
He croaked back in reply.
The grass was stiff and snow seeped through his pants in a biting chill, but the two of them watched the other, one staring blankly while the other stared with intense curiosity.
“You’re boring.” The boy finally declared with a nod.
With a glance, he stood up and walked away, grumbling something about bubbles.
In a moment, he came back, carrying a small plastic bottle and dragging a blue plastic beach chair behind him. With a huff, he seated himself in front of the frog and proceeded to screw open the lid. With an irritating laugh, he drew out a plastic wand and blew a bubble, iridescent and floating before it turned crystalline with a lackluster freeze.
“I bet you can’t do that,” he smirked, looking expectantly at Froggy.
Froggy stared ahead of him blankly, only croaking occasionally.
The boy blinked several times at the frog and slowly blew a bubble, watching it pop against the frog.
With a final croak, Froggy leaped away, ignoring the boy’s cries of apology.
That was long ago.
I sat on the cushions and wiped the condensation off the window, admiring the view of the woods and the poinsettias.
I blew on my tea and chuckled as my friend’s small child ran up to me in a frog onesie, blowing bubbles and squealing as she brought her face up to them.
“I like frogs,” I remembered her whisper when she first arrived on that dismal morning.
I remember nodding as I took her outstretched hand in reassurance and whispered, “me too.”