Hi. My name is Dweezil. I'm a frog. I consider myself a fairly attractive frog, even though I am rather large. My skin is smooth and a rich, dark green. My big, round eyes are a lovely shade of yellow, with black centers. My tongue is very long, pink and delicate.
I live alone under a deck owned by some humans. Or, at least, that's what Maggie tells me. I've never seen it myself, but I trust Maggie to know since she lives with the humans. She's a huge black animal that sometimes runs around outside my home. We've gotten to know each other quite well. I often take a swim in her water dish.
As I have not seen this 'deck', I have not seen a human. I've seen their feet, but they are far too large for me to see all the way up to their face. And they walk on two feet! Maggie says they don't have tails either, which I don't find especially odd. I know I had one when I was but a tadpole, but I lost as I grew so it must therefore have been unnecessary.
She tells me that they are not particularly nice to look at, but they feed her and play with her so she chooses to overlook their repulsiveness. I have no fondness for them myself, for several times I have nearly been stepped on by one of those monstrous feet.
Anyhow, one day I was out for a mid-day hop and Maggie was lounging out in the sun. I passed close to the furry black mass, and paused when she sniffed me.
"Oh, hey Dweeze. What's up?" she asked, sitting up a little, so as to see me better. Like most frogs, I am built relatively close to the ground.
"Good afternoon, Maggie. I'm just out for a little stroll. I may stop for a swim if you don't mind."
"Not at all. It's all yours. I don't know how full it is," she glanced in the direction of the large, grey water bowl.
"It doesn't matter. I just need a dip to cool off."
Maggie nodded and laid back, flat on her side, "See you later, Dweeze."
I continued on my way to the water bowl, pausing the odd time to snatch up a juicy cricket or spider.
When I finally got there, I jumped over the rim of the bowl and into the water. The bowl was about half full- more than adequate. As I was paddling around, I heard a tiny voice. There were no coherent words, it was just screaming. I stopped and floated in the water, listening carefully. Then I realized that the voice was coming from my back! There was a bug on my back, clearly terrified. I chuckled.
"Hang on, little guy."
I hopped out of the water onto the grass. The bug leaped over my head and landed in front of me. It was a flea. It began yelling indignantly. I couldn't make out the words, the insect was far too tiny, but I got the idea. I smiled. I kind of liked the little thing.
"Shhhh," I said very quietly so I wouldn't blow him away with my breath, "Calm down. I won't eat you. Get on my back again. You can be my pet."
I didn't think the flea would be able to understand me, but apparently he could. He leaped onto my back again, an amazing feat for one so seemingly weak. I suppose he decided that being a pet was better than being eaten.
On my way back, I found Maggie standing near my home, staring through a crack in what she called 'the fence'.
"Thank you, Maggie. I had quite an enjoyable swim."
She looked down at me, "Oh, you're welcome, Dweezil," then she frowned and looked closer, "Dweezil? You have a, um..." she trailed off and just looked at me strangely, "I didn't think frogs got fleas."
I smiled, "We don't, Maggie. This is Bob."
"Yes. He's my new pet."
Maggie looked perplexed, "Why Bob?"
"I think it's a strong name. Not to mention unusual. I wish I'd been named Bob. There are so many frogs named Dweezil."
"Uh huh..." Maggie raised an eyebrow, "Yeah, I can think of a few better names than Dweezil. No offense, buddy."
"None taken. I must get home now, Maggie. I don't suppose you could tell me what fleas eat?"
Maggie burst out laughing, "Blood, Dweeze. Keep him away from me. They bite you and suck your blood and make you itchy."
I was shocked. Revolted. Nauseated. Who would have thought that sweet little Bob could be such a vicious predator? I thought maybe I could turn Bob into a plant-eater by feeding him juice I squeezed from grass and other leaves.
So, time passed and Bob lived on plant juice and water. I believe Maggie was amused by my relationship with the flea. We went everywhere together, Bob riding on my head.
One day it was raining out and Bob and I were watching it from my home.
"Maggie says those loud sounds are called thunder and the lights are lightening," I explained to Bob. He squeaked in my ear.
"Thunder! Lightening! Thunder! Lightening! THUNDER!" Maggie was running back and forth outside, yelling at the top of her lungs. I watched her go by again, mud flying behind her. Bob squeaked again, leaped off of my head and made his way outside. I followed a few hops behind him.
"Bob! Come back!" I yelled, "Get out of the rain!" Of course, he didn't listen. Bob had an independent streak.
Then I heard a loud rumbling and saw Maggie hesitate. Human! Out to catch Maggie, no doubt. I saw the familiar feet and heard the loud rumbling again. The feet followed Maggie as she ran in my direction.
"No!" I yelled, "Bob!" But it was too late. The Human stepped on Bob. I hopped out as fast as I could, but it did no good. Bob was just a tiny splatter on the grass. I stared after the Human. It was standing nearby with its back to me, yelling after Maggie. It was the small one. Its feet were not very much larger than I. I growled and threw myself against the back of its legs. My considerable weight hitting the back of its knees caused the Human to fall to the ground. I went around in front of it and hopped as high as I could, hitting it in the face. When I landed again in the grass, I looked up and screamed at the sight of its face. I finally understood that there was no horror like the face of a human. Nevertheless, I leaped again for that hideous mutation. This time the human was prepared. It swatted me away with a mammoth hand. I hit the 'fence' and lay there, stunned. Meanwhile, the human got to its feet and ran away. Maggie trotted over and sniffed me.
"Dweezil, you okay?" she asked, "You made the kid cry you know." I curled up in an agonized ball. I wasn't physically hurt, but my little Bob was dead, "Come on, Dweeze, get up."
"Bob..." I whimpered. Maggie sighed.
"Okay, Dweezil. Just tell me if my teeth hurt you." She took me in her mouth as gently as she could and carried me over to my home. Her teeth cut into me, but I didn't say anything. As she was putting me down, the Human came back. It was a different one this time, a bigger one. She snarled at it when it reached out to her. It backed away and disappeared. Maggie turned to me.
"I'll find you another flea, Dweeze," Maggie said.
"I don't want another flea. I want Bob," I curled up again. Maggie sighed again, and turned to leave. I guess she went inside because the Human didn't return and neither did she, until the morning. She came to see me.
"Dweeze, you have to eat," she said, pushing me lightly with her nose, "Get up, Dweezil."
I moaned and turned over. Maggie growled in frustration. I heard her walk away. A few minutes later she was back. She dropped a dead spider in front of me.
"Eat," she growled.
"Go away," I mumbled.
"Eat the spider. I'm not leaving until you do."
So, I halfheartedly took a bite of the spider.
I glared at her. She glared right back. I finished the spider.
A long time passed while I lay in my little home, staring dully outside. I watched the sun make its journey from one side of the sky to the other many times. Maggie caught bugs and brought them to me. She stood and watched to make sure I ate them all.
One morning I woke up to find a tiny baby spider staring at me. My eyes widened. The thing must either be very stupid or very young to be standing so close to me when I regularly eat spiders for lunch. It took a tentative step closer to me and squeaked.
"Get lost," I said. It squeaked again. Then it had the nerve to crawl onto my face, between my eyes, and sit on my head. I had to smile. Maybe it was time I got a new pet. I stood up and went outside. I met Maggie on her way see me. She grinned.
"Dweezil! A spider?"
"His name is Mike."
"A very good name for a spider."
"Yes, I thought so too. Now, I must find something for him to eat. Do you know...?"
"Bugs," Maggie smiled, "He eats bugs."
"Thank you, Maggie," I smiled at her and hopped away in search of insects for Mike to eat, and perhaps a few for myself.
In the time he was with me, Mike grew a lot. He built a web in the corner of my home and learned to catch his own meals. I will always remember Bob, but I am not depressed by the thought of him anymore. I try to remember the good things.
I no longer eat spiders- I stick to mosquitoes, flies, worms when I can get them, and the occasional cockroach.
I always make sure to keep Mike inside on rainy days. I still have nightmares about that human's face...