by Sydney Darnell
(Inland Empire)

A Frog:

There once was a Polliwog
Hatched under a brownish log
In Marshland County, somewhere down south.

The tadpole's name was Morry
Some folks say that his story
Can only be told by croak of frog mouth.

According to legend:

This little frog larva
Decided to carve a
Life of perfection, his own special quest;

There were times he felt daunted
Over things that he wanted
Believing he was different from all of the rest.

Not any others
Not sisters or brothers
Were unhappy (like himself) with life in the bog;

So he focused his dream
In the middle of a stream
Unaware he was shape-shifting into a frog.

In times of moor strife
A low quality of frog life
Morry ate algae-goo and bacterial scum;

Then he'd rise to the surface
With only one purpose
To think out his thoughts in the warmth of the sun.

Peers and siblings made fun
Of the strange yellow one
Who searched through books about frog his-tory;

Not written on tree stumps
Nor carved out in mossy clumps Batrachian chronicles were muddled in mys-tery.

Morry's hood was a mean zone
Gangs gave it a low tone
Taggers marked lily pads as they swam by;

The turf grew much tougher
Frog teams became rougher
Old ones hid out, while young ones would cry.

Frog patrols were no use
None could stop drug abuse
Even Barking Frogs soon lost their bite;

Mexican white lipped
African Clawed equipped
Common tree frogs all looked for a fight.

Frog lives soon scattered
And nothing much mattered
Confusion and chaos filled every pad.

Morry's family was jaded
Most of their colors had faded
This caused Morry to feel angry and sad.

Morry's tongue grew a sticky tip
The kind he could quickly flip
When he wanted to snare a meal in the mire;

Although bugs filled his tummy
And some were quite yummy
He needed more staples to light up his fire.

Nervous energy broke loose
Like a migratory goose
When Morry inquired about the value of beings;

He spoke with Midwife Toad
Who carried her own heavy load
She suggested Morry get out and experience things.

His legs soon grew strong
He could exact any wrong
When engaging himself in a tromp;

His skin was so poisonous
Without making to much fuss
He could zap out dealers his side of the swamp.

Morry honed his hunting skill
Stalking things that would not stay still
Movement was a must for developing his sight;

What did Morry have in mind
What exactly did he hope to find
When he packed his bag and hopped into the night?

The Journey:

Morry soon found work
As a bagger, then grocery clerk
He thought nothing of waiting on tables;

Folks winked and some sniggered
Some said that they figgered
Most yellow frog lives existed in fables.

Then one night the café cook
Came towards Morry with a funny look
That crossed his features in a scary sort of way;

"Your legs are a meaty treat
The kind our patrons like to eat
I should have boiled you in a pot yesterday".

Morry jumped out of reach
And hopped off towards the beach
Destination? Farmlands someplace out west;

Can you even imagine
What was about to happen
When Morry was put to the ultimate test?


A small boy out fishing
Had been secretly wishing
To ensnare a frog inside of his net;

The boy almost caught Morry
And put an end to this story
Except that no frog wants to be a kid's pet.

Morry spread his webbed toes
And glided far above the rows
Of farmland, trees, mountains and streams;

His body squeezed tight
As he flew into the night
Knowing life is not always the way that it seems.

Morry stopped for a cat-nap
Checked compass and road map
Changed his directions and faced somewhere down south;

He highlighted Mire Road
A route leading to Midwife Toad
Strong feelings croaked out through his mouth.

He had certainly learned
Without getting burned
Some frogs highly regarded their life in the bog;

What he had believed to be grand
About righting wrong in the land
He first must begin at home under his own log.


In all sorts of weather
The amphibians gather
To sing about a frog who learned how to fly;

A bronze statuette
So none would forget
That any craniate can reach for the sky.
Because of Morry
The point of this story
Is to let you know how it all can been done.

Of course there will be a few
Afraid to try something new
Or think out their thoughts in the warmth of the sun.

The trick is to circle 'round
Until you have finally found
Literacy programs above all the rest;

Sometimes you'll have to cram
Other times you'll want to jam
In order to pass Morry, the flying frog's test.

Taggers are no longer tagging
Gangs are no longer bragging
Mean zones have been cleaned up down in the hood;

Morry never preaches
But steadfastly teaches
How bad things can be turned into all kinds of good.

There is nothing to speculate
Happenings are designed by fate
It's how you choose to get from here to there;

Your lessons for today
Is to go out and play
Do not ever forget you must always share.

You See...

There many more frogs
Who live life in other bogs
Perhaps never hearing the story of Morry;

Your job is to teach
But never to preach
Of how a flying frog achieved some fame and some glory.

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