i followed the croaking. it led me to our pond and across the vast expanse of water i could see him – perched on a rock – a beautiful frog. i started taking pictures right away thinking he would quickly evade me and jump into the water, but i kept taking pictures and i kept getting closer. i talked to him the whole time i was approaching and he seemed to listen. by the time i got to the rocks where he was, he was just sitting calmly. i reached down and petted his head. he stayed put. we talked a bit, that frog and me. i named him ‘pando’ for he arrived during the pandemic. he was earnest; i was elated. frogs-in-our-pond in the past have been good omens, gentle reminders to rest in trust.
pando hung around for three days, eating bugs and sunbathing on rocks. but he chose to move on. his leaving is as curious as his arrival. we hope he returns but we have our doubts; it’s a big world out there for a frog.
the day he was gone i found a nickel on the stepping stones to the pond. since we are the only ones in our backyard and rarely carry any change – or real money for that matter – it was a wonder to see this nickel sitting on the flat rock, waiting to be discovered. it’s not a regular nickel. it seems to be made of copper and is not exactly the same size as a nickel. naturally, thinking it would, of course, have the same value as a gold doubloon, i googled it and spent some time learning about planchets and copper and the metal composition percentages of coins, things i didn’t know.
i giggled while googling as i thought of my dad, who would have done the same diligent research, always curious. and then i realized that the nickel appeared the day that marked his leaving this earth eight years ago. i talked to him a bit, questioning him: if he was going to leave a coin out for me to find, or convince a frog to leave a coin, why wouldn’t it be one of those gold doubloons i always tease about finding in the walls of our old house or maybe a 1913 liberty head nickel, which i have learned is worth in the neighborhood of several million dollars. but no – instead it’s just a curious nickel; i could hear him chuckling.
pando. the nickel. both curiosities. both a little bit of wondrous. maybe that’s the whole point. to notice the little bits of wondrous.