Since the NC temperatures warmed up a couple of months ago, we’ve had a small family of frogs living in our driveway and garage. Every evening when the sun begins to set, cooling off the white concrete driveway, the three little brown frogs come out from hiding in the shady garage. The biggest one we consider the mom and named her “Toadie”. There are two more much smaller ones we just call “the babies.”
Since these little amphibians only make themselves visible at night and our driveway is a not very well lit, we are always afraid my husband or I will squash the little creatures when we drive our cars in or out of the driveway.
A few nights ago I pulled into the driveway, hit the garage door remote and saw the tiniest one when the light switched on as the door was opening. He was sitting perfectly still just inches from where the garage door meets the ground. I was so glad I saw him in time to avoid hitting him.
Last night my husband, stepson and I came home from dinner and my husband mentioned the tiny frog when we pulled into the driveway. We all three began discussing how cute he was and how amazed we were at his tiny size. He couldn’t have been more than 2 inches tall and 1 inch wide. We eventually changed the subject and went inside the house.
About 15 minutes later, my husband went back out to the car to grab something he’d forgotten and yelled my name. I came outside and he said, “Remember the little frog we were just talking about?”
“Yes,” I replied. I began looking around in the dim light of the night, assuming my husband had called me out to see the tiny thing sitting quietly somewhere on the edge of the driveway. I didn’t see him and looked back at my husband. He slowly turned his head down and pointed by his feet to the concrete driveway underneath.
There was the flat, outstretched body of a tiny little frog.
My mouth dropped open and my right hand automatically flew up and covered it. I couldn’t believe we were just talking about this and it had actually happened. One of us had hit him! I could tell he had been there like this all day because his little body had been dried in the ample sunshine of the 80 degree day.
I immediately began thinking about Toadie. I wondered if she had seen this happen to her little baby. Had she not realized he had wandered off and had been looking for him? Was she hopping right alongside him, trying to avoid the monstrous car wheel and the smaller, slower one couldn’t keep up? Was she hiding in the dark shadows of the cluttered garage watching us and mourning over her baby?
We stood there and looked at the poor baby frog for a few more minutes, then continued our night as usual. Conversation and thoughts of the tiny creature quickly faded away and we all slept soundly in our beds while Toadie and her remaining baby slept in the oily garage, missing their precious tiny one.
As soon as I stepped out of the door this morning and saw the white concrete driveway, I thought of the tiny frog and became inspired to write this story for him.