First there were just potatoes. The kind you bake. Some small. Some larger. There were about six of them scattered about a foot and a half from the curb. The first time I took notice of them I thought they were rocks. You know the kind that people put in their landscaping beds. The first time I just rolled on by.
The next time I saw them I realized they were potatoes. Because they had started to shrivel a bit from the hot summer weather. I stopped this time thinking about where six potatoes had come from, sitting on the side of the road, in the middle of a suburban neighborhood. I took note of their positioning. The two little ones separated a bit from the four larger ones. I looked around to see if there was anyone out and about noticing me noticing the potatoes. There wasn't.
The next day I had a destination in mind as I set out in my PWC - to the potatoes. As I rolled up, something was askew. The two little potatoes had been smashed. Not run over by a car smashed, but rather hit by a hammer smashed. The other four lay there pretty much untouched except for some rotting potatoes will do when left out in the elements. I looked around again expecting someone to be watching my reaction to, which in my mind, had become some sort of performance art piece. Again, no one.
The next evening I set out for a walk with my Mom. As we got closer to the 'potato stage', I casually mentioned the potatoes. Of course we stopped. All the potatoes were as they were the night before. Tonight, sitting in between the larger, now mostly shriveled potatoes, was the head of a frog. Yes. Just the head. Now this got me thinking. Did the frog lose his life searching out the potatoes for a food source? Do frogs eat potatoes? If the frog had gotten run over, wouldn't the potatoes been flattened? Maybe a crow had dropped the frog mid-eat when he saw the more desirable potatoes? Wouldn't a frog be more desirable to a crow than a potato? So many questions, but my Mom wasn't really interested in looking at the dead frog much less than the rotting potatoes. As I rolled away I looked around for a camera as I had grown sure that this was being filmed.
Today it is drizzling. I didn't let that stop me from participating in this performance art piece. I set out, a little anxious about what I would find. I anticipated that something would have eaten the frog head. I found myself hoping that the potatoes would remain untouched. As I got closer I began giggling. What the hell is wrong with me that I am letting this, of all things, occupy my thoughts?! Despite questioning my sanity, I rolled up to the spot (still looking for cameras out of the corner of my eye) and stopped in disbelief. The potatoes remained untouched. The frog head was still there, but someone had taken the time to cover it gently with a yellow leaf, creating a little shrine for it made of pebbles and twigs. My jaw dropped. I was still. Tears welled in my eyes. I quickly rolled away. If there was a camera recording this, I didn''t want it to catch me crying over a shrine to a frog head.
The drizzle turned to a steady rain as my tears subsided. I head home. I decided that a child, out exploring the neighborhood as they should during these long summer days, found these unusual items and did as children do. I hope this child finds the tree bark shedding down at the other end of the neighborhood. I'm curious where that will lead.