Frog Story

Cyclops frog Mark Rain flickr

Photo credit Mark Rain at

Harla pulled the laundry off the poles, frowning at the sun.  It was touching the mountains and Elran still wasn’t home.  Her irritation was transitioning to worry when he appeared, panting and tousled.  And not, she noticed, carrying the mushrooms he’d been sent for.

“Sorry I’m late, mother, but I was attacked!”

Stirring the potage, Harla sighed.  “Oh, were you?  Has the dragon returned?  Or maybe a striped rhinoceros this time?”  Elran’s imagination had grown ever wilder since his father died.

Elran flopped onto the pallet.  “It was a one-eyed frog.”

“A frog?  Sounds terrifying.”

The words tumbled out.  “Then I saw this giant round thing floating in the air, like a ship, only alive, with one eye, like the frog, searching all around, and I knew it was looking for me!”

“How did you escape?”

“I hid until it left.”

Laid down for a nap, more like.  “So that’s why you’re late.  Did the floating frog-ship eat the mushrooms?”

“I forgot.”  To his credit, he blushed. “Should I go back?”

Something ribbited outside the window.  A one-eyed frog.  Another jumped closer, then another.  They stared.

Shivering, Harla yanked the shutters closed.  “Better stay in tonight, just in case.”

Word count: 200.  Written for this week’s Sunday Photo Fiction challenge.  Big thanks to our stalwart host Al Forbes!  See the original photo below. Your guess is better than mine as to what it is, but I think Elran’s story is probably close enough for horseshoes.  (Update: I’m told it’s the London Eye.  That doesn’t seem to explain the pink eye-looking thing in the middle, though.)

For word count sake, I had to cut a line where he described seeing people inside the floating frog-ship, captured and trying to get out.  His mother asked how he could see them if they were inside the ship, and he said there were windows, which of course she didn’t believe, having never seen glass — empty holes in the side of a ship?  They’d just fall out!


Photo © Al Forbes at A Mixed Bag

22 thoughts on “Frog Story

  1. That photo’s captivating. Gosh, I like frogs but more to listen to I think. That’s a bit unsettling, that. We get the little tree frogs here periodically and I love discovering one, like miniature-sized and perfectly formed. And this story of yours (or the photo I should say) reminds me of one I’m finishing by David Mitchell, with these people who have their chakra eyes in the forehead. And that kind of rubs me wrong, too. But always enjoy the compactness, the mirth and other worldly oddness of your writing. Joyful, you’ve heard that before…worth repeating! Ribbit, ribbit.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree, the photo (or photo-shopped image, more accurately) is pretty disturbing. If I saw a bunch of those frogs sitting outside my window, I’d certainly pull the shutters tight and stay in for the night! Little tree frogs in real life are much more adorable. Thanks for the great comment; I’m glad you continue to enjoy my style — and even more glad that anyone sticks around to watch me develop that style!


  2. Very entertaining. Hard to know how many of this little guys stories are true and which are imagination. Weird that the frog turned out to be true. Something tells me he and ‘Blinky’ the three-eyed fish from the Simpsons would get along well lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is such a fun take on the photo prompt. Why are small children never believed, there’s so often truth in their fantastic stories. I’m sure this is an alien invasion. Great story, Joy. I’m not reading here often enough.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for stopping by, Gabi! I know you’ve been crazy busy lately, so I get it — but I’m glad you saw this one. I think in this particular child’s case, the problem is that he’s the “boy who cried wolf.” He’s been telling tall tales for a while now, so his mother assumes this is another one, and she’s going along with it because she knows this is his coping mechanism for dealing with his dad’s death. And who knows, maybe the one-eyed frog part was real but the floating ship part was made up. (That would certainly be easier for me to explain, given my magic options on Eneana — one-eyed frogs are relatively easy to conjure up, compared to spaceships!) Even so, having a bunch of one-eyed frogs staring into your window sounds creepy enough on its own. I’d definitely close the shutters tight too!

      Liked by 1 person

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