Survival

Jane Dougherty Writes

The temperature touched 97°F today and still no rain. The well water is more difficult to reach, twenty-five feet down and a chore to pull up by hand. This morning, in one of the buckets, swimming feebly but valiantly, was a froglet. This year’s froglets, we see them about now and then, are small frog size. This one was still a thumbnail, no bigger than when it crawled out of the stream eight weeks ago. The tiny thing must have fallen into the well in July and survived without growing, developing, or eating, but hanging onto existence in the wet darkness, and to the slender thread of hope of rescue.

It sat in my hand, luxuriating in my blood heat and had to be pushed off onto a warm stone beneath the plum tree among a pile of other stones, weeds and embryonic trees. I daren’t put it among the…

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