When we are all a little stir-crazy and just need a little walk to restart our brains or spirits, we have a bikepath we can walk to that will take us to our garden or, in the other direction, across the river and to the farm. It is lovely, tree-covered, leaf-littered - sometimes we see deer, usually we see dogs, and the occasional snake or toad. But this isn't about the path, it's about getting home.
There is a large hill in the way. It is a beautiful stretch of the walk, covered overhead with conifers, but still. It's a hill. On the way home.
One day, when it was just the two of us, I was trying to coax Ani up the hill. She has finally gotten too big for me to carry far, and the hill is out of the question, so...we hold hands. We tell jokes. We pause for a little hug of encouragement. On this particular day none of this was really working, so in a flash of inspiration, our own version of "leapfrog" was born!!
It starts when one (crazy) person runs up-hill a piece, then stops and gives forth with their best amphibious call.
|Ani, "doing" the eastern spadefoot|
Now, we're not talking your run-of-the-mill "ribbet". We're talking eastern spadefoot toad. Wood frog. Green frog. Peepers. The real deal. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! MAAAAAaaaaaaaaw. MAAAAAaaaaaaaaw. P-doing! P-doing! meep,meep,meep,meep...
The other person echoes the call back to them, both pausing to croak for a few seconds. Then the second person, the one lower on the hill, runs up and past the first person a good distance, and stops, giving their very best call. And on and on, repeated until the summit is reached and both participants have laughed their way up the hill without even noticing the work involved.