Frogs fall out of my mouth when I talk. Toads, too.
It used to be a problem.
There was an incident when I was young and cross and fed up parental expectations. My sister, who is the Good One, has gold fall from her lips, and since I could not be her, I had to go a different way.
So I got frogs. It happens.
“You’ll grow into it,” the fairy godmother said. “Some curses have cloth-of-gold linings.” She considered this, and her finger drifted to her lower lip, the way it did when she was forgetting things. “Mind you, some curses just grind you down and leave you broken. Some blessings do that too, though. Hmm. What was I saying?”
I spent a lot of time not talking. I got a slate and wrote things down. It was hard at first, but I hated to drop the frogs in the middle of the road. They got hit by cars, or dried out, miles away from their damp little homes.
Toads were easier. Toads are tough. After awhile, I learned to feel when a word was a toad and not a frog. I could roll the word around on my tongue and get the flavor before I spoke it. Toad words were drier. Desiccated is a toad word. So is crisp and crisis and obligation. So are elegant and matchstick.
Frog words were a bit more varied. Murky. Purple. Swinging. Jazz.
I practiced in the field behind the house, speaking words over and over, sending small creatures hopping into the evening. I learned to speak some words as either toads or frogs. It’s all in the delivery.
Love is a frog word, if spoken earnestly, and a toad word if spoken sarcastically. Frogs are not good at sarcasm.
Toads are masters of it.
I learned one day that the amphibians are going extinct all over the world, that some of them are vanishing. You go to ponds that should be full of frogs and find them silent. There are a hundred things responsible—fungus and pesticides and acid rain.
When I heard this, I cried “What!?” so loudly that an adult African bullfrog fell from my lips and I had to catch it. It weighed as much as a small cat. I took it to the pet store and spun them a lie in writing about my cousin going off to college and leaving the frog behind.
I brooded about frogs for weeks after that, and then eventually, I decided to do something about it.
I cannot fix the things that kill them. It would take an army of fairy godmothers, and mine retired long ago. Now she goes on long cruises and spreads her wings out across the deck chairs.
But I can make more.
I had to get a field guide at first. It was a long process. Say a word and catch it, check the field marks. Most words turn to bronze frogs if I am not paying attention.
Poison arrow frogs make my lips go numb. I can only do a few of those a day. I go through a lot of chapstick.
It is a holding action I am fighting, nothing more. I go to vernal pools and whisper sonnets that turn into wood frogs. I say the words squeak and squill and spring peepers skitter away into the trees. They begin singing almost the moment they emerge.
I read long legal documents to a growing audience of Fowler’s toads, who blink their goggling eyes up at me. (I wish I could do salamanders. I would read Clive Barker novels aloud and seed the streams with efts and hellbenders. I would fly to Mexico and read love poems in another language to restore the axolotl. Alas, it’s frogs and toads and nothing more. We make do.)
The woods behind my house are full of singing. The neighbors either learn to love it or move away.
My sister—the one who speaks gold and diamonds—funds my travels. She speaks less than I do, but for me and my amphibian friends, she will vomit rubies and sapphires. I am grateful.
I am practicing reading modernist revolutionary poetry aloud. My accent is atrocious. Still, a day will come when the Panamanian golden frog will tumble from my lips, and I will catch it and hold it, and whatever word I spoke, I’ll say again and again, until I stand at the center of a sea of yellow skins, and make from my curse at last a cloth of gold.
Terri Windling posted recently about the old fairy tale of frogs falling from a girl’s lips, and I started thinking about what I’d do if that happened to me, and…well…
You know how if you go through years and years of “best science fiction short stories”, every so often you find some short story you’ve never heard of before, but it’s just amazing and brilliant and leaves you wondering why you never read stories with that plot before? This is one of those.
this made me smile.
i’m still smiling.
I was trying to figure out what would have had to happen to get Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon to bring Harry to an optometrist, so I asked my friend Janelle and
I always figured it was similar to him getting a cheap ice cream in the first book. Like a teacher or several of them reported the issue and pressured the Dursleys to get him glasses, so they went to the cheapest place they could find and he’s had the same pair ever since.
Do you know who I think is the ugliest girl in school?
That Hermione Granger
You know what I’d give her on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1… 1 would be the ugliest and then 10 is pretty…
I would give her
Not over a 9.8
Because there is always room for improvement
Not everyone’s perfect like me
That’s why I am holding out for a 10
Because I’m worth it
3. Foundations: Nature & Earth - How you view nature and the earth, and your relationship with it.
My partner sometimes jokes that I’m a terrible pagan because nature and I just do not get along. (He knows that’s not all paganism is, he gets the polytheism thing, he’s just being a dork.) There are a few exceptions to this, mostly right when the snow starts to melt and plants start to come up again in the spring and then even more in the fall. As soon as I see the first leaves change color I go into Fall/Halloween mode and I want to EVERYTHING related to that. “Hey, let’s go to a cider mill! I know we went last week but look there’s a NEW one we haven’t seen yet! Hey let’s get a pumpkin! Let’s decorate the pumpkin and then when it rots way before Halloween because it’s still too early we can just get another one! CANDY CANDY CANDY. Corn maze! Halloween music!” It’s a little ridiculous.
Other than that, though, I don’t notice nature much and prefer to stay inside. I’m allergic to most of it, whenever I have to walk the 20 minutes to work I wind up having a sore throat and runny nose for the next 3 days. And if I go anywhere with new plants my body hasn’t gotten somewhat used to yet, forget it. I spent a couple of weeks in New Mexico and Arizona several years ago and I was basically just a walking allergic reaction the whole time. It’s a desert! What could I be allergic to in the desert!? (Juniper was the repeated suggestion from locals, which makes sense because I am allergic to several varieties of pine.)
I try to be good to the earth. I don’t want it wrecked, obviously I depend on it and I’m part of it. So I try to make good environmental decisions and do what I can to protect it, but also keep my distance.
Day 06 – Topanga, Angela or Rachel?
I’m gonna have to go with Angela. In the episode where they’re all fighting someone (I think Rachel but maybe Angela? Maybe even Jack, I don’t know. I hate that episode and I skip it most of the time when I’m re-watching.) says something about the core group always choosing each other and being closer. And I think to an extent that’s true from a viewer perspective, those three additions to the cast felt really forced. ESPECIALLY Angela, since she was basically just Shawn’s Topanga and Shawn really did not need a Topanga. That show did not need any more focus on excessive overly-committed high school romance.
So there were lots of reasons to dislike Angela. But I can’t, because she’s also the nicest one and was always a good friend to everybody and stayed pretty solid and realistic (except for that weird “we have to break up because I’ll leave you if we don’t!” episode, but really she was even the most reasonable character in that one) while the show got weirder and everyone else became parodies of their earlier selves. I like her friendship with Cory, and I love the fact that she chose to go to Europe with her dad rather than throw it away for a boyfriend. She somehow managed to become the sort of reasonable/insightful anchor on a show that didn’t seem to care much for that sort of thing towards the end.
ESTP: super attractive physically but it’s all downhill from there. never quite know what they’re going to do next but you can probably bet it will be irresponsible. somehow still lovable.
ESTJ: loud, logical, and get shit done — they are the warrior class of the life rpg. power stats make them unbeatable and if you encounter one, maybe just curl up and forfeit, to save time.
ESFP: giggly little shits. fun fun fun till her daddy takes the t-bird away. great for lifting your mood, not that great at lifting your credit score.
ESFJ: too appropriate, totally lacking in awkwardness. they’ll never forget your birthday, which will make you feel like shit when you constantly forget theirs.
ENTP: excellent companions if you enjoy people who instantly see through all your shit. very clever and very intuitive, you can’t fool them. i suggest you invest in other friends — ones you *can* fool.
ENTJ: impatient with people who make mistakes, namely, everyone. they’ll respect you if you stand up to them but why do that when you can run away instead. cuddle them and see what happens. i’m curious.
ENFP: too puppy to live. best suited for the profession of musical nanny. not advised for use around an open flame.
ENFJ: way too charming and capable, maybe they should stop making everyone else look bad. prone to making other people care about stuff they didn’t want to care about. so annoying.
ISTP: such butts. best suited for an apocalypse scenario, if no such scenario exists, they will create danger because they get bored. don’t encourage them, but don’t discourage them, as reverse psychology works too well.
ISTJ: low drama and low maintenance, best value at this price tier. best suited to actual human existence. least weird, which makes them kinda weird.
ISFP: squishy little darlings you might want to keep in your pocket, but please don’t or they will become forlorn. they notice everything, and it’s unnerving.
ISFJ: quietly and proudly do things for others. if you have a ring you need to deliver to mordor, take an ISFJ along with you for best results.
INTP: cute intergalactic spiders you want to hug and mistrust. prone to making you laugh but then days later you will wonder whether you were the butt of the joke.
INTJ: major dicks and kinda proud of it. prone to being right. prone to liking trance music way too much. all the ones i’ve ever met have been unexpectedly kinky. so i guess, expectedly.
INFP: they fall out of the sky and are raised by unicorns. if you feed one it will follow you home. they dissipate in water.
INFJ: chameleons appropriating your emotions and going quietly mad. prone to meltdowns and needing lots of naps.
I spent my teen years trying to be INTJ, but have settled firmly into ISFJ territory in my old age.
ohhhh okay i think i get this. because while we have the concept of “night and day” as two halves of a whole or whatever, it’s not accurate. in reality, there are 86,400 seconds in a day (thank you google), and so many ways to conceptualize time, and different methods of describing different times and.
yes okay. cool.
my gender is, in fact, “oh my god is it really that late im supposed to be at
workschool in the morning”
or possibly “the time period between ordering your coffee and the barista calling your name”
and sometimes “whenever the moon comes out”
Anon, this is the best thing ever.