A/N: Here's my entry into The Gossip Forum's writing challenge. The prompt was to write a story about an animal, and you had to incorporate a magical or true fact about said animal.

Enjoy. :]

Lily just couldn't help herself. She was staring at him. Again.

He sat beside the pond as he always did, shoulders slouched, lazily swirling the water with a tree branch. His brown mop of hair fell over his eyes, yet he didn't bother to brush it back into place. The expression on his face was somewhere between bored and brooding,

Lily's tiny heart started beating out a wild, spastic rhythm and, for a moment, she forgot how to breathe.

Oh, today was the day. She could feel it all the way down in her webbed toes. Today, she would make actual contact with the human.

She shifted a bit on the lily pad, and, despite the cool air around her, she was pretty sure she felt her temperature rise by a couple degrees.

Lily swallowed. No more acting like such a tadpole. She was going to do this. She was finally going to hop on over there and confess her undying love-

"Hey, Lil, how's it goin'?"

Lily groaned inwardly and slapped a foot between her eyes. Of course. Rudy just had to show up and ruin everything.

She heaved a sigh and turned to face him. "Hello, Rudy."

"Fancy meeting you here!" The toad joined her on the lily pad, and the leaf bobbed a bit back and forth under his weight. "Whatcha doin'?"

"Nothing," Lily said quickly, trying as hard as she could not to glance back at the boy.


She shrugged. "Oh, just…y'know…chilling."

"Uh-huh." Rudy nodded. "That's cool."


A moment of silence, broken only by the soft chirping of birds in the trees overhead.

Rudy shifted a bit. The lily pad rocked back and forth, gently. "Can I chill with you?" he asked, a bit hesitant.

The obvious answer was no. No with a capital N-O. But, somehow, Lily found herself mumbling a half-hearted, "Suuuuure…"

"Great!" A big smile lit up the toad's face. His eyes blinked a few times, very quickly. "You know, this is a perfect chilling spot."

"Yeah?" Lily pretended to be interested.

"Yeah," Rudy agreed. He gestured around at the plant life. "It's got a wonderful view."

Yes, Lily agreed, chancing a peek at the young man by the edge of the pond. Yes, it certainly does…

A fly flew lazily through the air and Rudy's tongue shot out at lightning speed to catch it. He chewed on the bug, almost thoughtfully, and then, after swallowing, stated, "The food's not too shabby, either."

Lily shrugged. "I guess not."

Some more silence followed.

Lily cast a longing glance towards the boy, who was now using the tree branch to doodle in the mud along the bank. He looked up from his sketch and, to Lily's surprise, looked right at her.

Suddenly, the world seemed to blur around him, and the only thing clear was his gloriously perfect face. His forehead was furrowed, as if he were concentrating very hard. Then, the moment was over, and the boy turned back to his drawing.

Lily continued to stare at him, unable to believe what just happened had truly and honestly happened.

He looked at me, she thought, in awe. He actually saw me. He knows I exist!

He knew about her. He'd acknowledged her. Suddenly, an epiphany: Had he been pining after her this whole time as well? Did he secretly harbor a love for her? A love that burned with the fiery, intense passion of a thousand white-hot suns?

Oh, of course, he did. That was why he kept returning-for the same reason she did! Her dreams were so close to being a reality now.

A wonderful scene began to play out in her head:

The boy was running toward her, very slowly, with arms outstretched, through a field of flowers. She was hopping, just as slowly, towards him, her big eyes shining with love and joy. There was loud, romantic music accompanying the scene, the melody seeming to descend from heaven itself.

She took in a sharp breath that sounded like a loud squeak.

"Something wrong?" Rudy leaned forward a bit, sounding concerned.

"N-no." Lily had, for a moment, forgotten she wasn't alone. "I'm fine. Just fine. Really. Nothing wrong. I'm fine."

"Are you sure?" Rudy squinted at her. "You look a bit…green."

"I'm a frog," Lily said, rolling her eyes. "I'm always green."

"Yes, well…" Rudy cleared his throat. "You seem to be acting pretty strange today, Lil."

Lily sniffed. "I don't know what you're talking about."

"You're a bit spacey today."

"Am not."

"And you're not really talking much."

"That's because I'm in a listening mood," Lily huffed.

"I don't know…" Rudy blinked. "You're kind of…" He shifted, uncomfortable. The lily pad rocked gently.

"Kind of what?"

"Nothing," Rudy mumbled.

"Rudy, you're being a total wartface."

"I know." The toad sighed and glanced down at his feet. "But…I've been wondering something."


The toad blinked rapidly. "Is it…?" he began, but quickly stopped himself.

"Is it what?"

Rudy looked like he was suffering from indigestion or something. "It's about that human, isn't it?" he said quietly, sounding a bit embarrassed to even mention it.

Lily tried not to seem so surprised. "What?" She forced herself to laugh. "What are you talking about?"

Rudy stared down at his webbed toes, suddenly finding them very interesting. "Well…it's just…" He started to blink really fast again. "You're always here…when he is." He nodded his head in the boy's direction.

"Really?" Lily shrugged. "I hadn't noticed."

"But I have." Rudy's eyes bulged slightly. His blinking seemed to go into overdrive. "I mean…I didn't…that doesn't mean I-"

Lily narrowed her eyes. "You've been watching me?"

Rudy took a few hops away from her, unnerved by her stare. "No!" Blink. "Well, yeah. Maybe a little." Blink. "But it wasn't, like, I was stalking you or anything…" Blinkblinkblink.

"I don't believe this."

Rudy opened his mouth, as if to say something, but then quickly shut it. After a long, awkward moment, he carefully placed his foot on top of hers.

"Ugh," Lily said, wriggling her webbed toes out from under his.

Rudy blinked. All he could manage to choke out was a weak, "I'm sorry."

"Just leave," Lily whined. "You're making me look bad."

"This is about that story, isn't it?" Rudy looked away.

"What story?"

"That whole thing about getting kissed by a prince..."

Lily sighed. "No," she lied. "This has absolutely nothing to do with that."

"Oh..." The toad blinked one last time. And then, without another word, he leapt off the lily pad and into the water.

Lily rolled her eyes. That was Rudy, alright. Such a toad. And so dramatic.

She turned her attention back to the boy-only to find he was gone. Her eyes widened in disbelief.

No. No, he couldn't possibly be gone. He was just there a moment ago!

Ah, but he'd left her a message. That picture he'd been doodling. It was a portrait, a token of his love he'd left behind. Just for me, Lily thought.

Heart brimming with joy, she dove off the lily pad and frantically paddled over to the bank. When she pulled herself onto dry land, she quickly located the drawing. She looked at it for a few minutes, the smile slowly slipping from her face.

Lily stared down at the artwork, disgusted.

A picture of a toad stared back at her. A sad, dejected-looking toad standing next to a hasty sketch of a girl with long, flowing hair in a big, poofy dress.

The words I CAN'T SAY IT were scrawled beneath the doodle, barely legible.

How rude, Lily thought, angrily erasing the picture back into the dirt, that he didn't draw a picture of me.