Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Kissing Frogs: A Thinly-Veiled Metaphor
There once was a young woman who would sometimes think back to her childhood. She remembered, quite vividly, catching tadpoles in various neighborhood bodies of water on those long, lazy Southern summer days. It was such a small thrill- the chase, the competition, the catch. There was strategy and risk, triumph and defeat. The neighborhood kids would boldly venture through unexplored woods, on a quest for the perfect pond- the Holy Grail of Tadpoling. Sure, there were tangible risks, like poison ivy and Copperheads, but that was all part of the allure- that element of danger lurking at the edge of almost stifling normalcy. Sometimes, some of the kids (those that were louder, braver, or more apt to prove Darwin right) would get side-tracked and try to catch the usually poisonous water snakes, but not her. She was smart enough to know when it was all for show, and besides, she wanted something attainable. And she always got it. At the end of the day, those other kids would count her amphibious conquests with envy, as they returned empty-handed to stretch tales of the deadly snake that got away. She would emerge from the forest sweaty, mud-stained, and victorious. If only she had outgrown it.
Of course, while catch and release was great fun, she was sometimes left wanting more (as children and sportsmen often do). Twice she made a valid attempt at keeping the tadpoles. In her first attempt, she tried to turn their captive environment into something cute and girly- a well-decorated trophy case in which to display her shrinking-tailed glories. Naturally, they soon died. Not being one to easily accept defeat, the girl learned from this attempt, and the next round of tadpoles were welcomed into a terrarium as close to their natural habitat as possible (however stagnant and un-color coordinated it might have been). She nurtured them, and took pleasure from watching them grow as a direct result of her time and attention. However, as the tadpoles realized their full potential and turned into frogs, she quickly came to the realization that she really had neither use nor desire for frogs. They were smelly, ugly, and loud; not to mention she had to actually procure food for them. She could have released them into the wild and set them free, but instead she chose the path of least resistance- leaving all but their most basic needs untended until the frogs grew big enough to escape their cage, hopping away to an uncertain fate.
Some things never change.