Thursday, November 18, 2010

Take That, You Big Meanie!





Those were the sounds Melissa heard over and over.  Finally, she squinted her eyes and looked on in the direction of the odd sounds toward the lake.  Her dad took her to the park some weekends and she’d feed the ducks or play in the water.  Most times were peaceful with only a few visitors.  Sometimes a turtle would plop its head out of the water and she’d quietly sit close enough to watch it look around as it took a breathing-break. 

Well, this day was the same as most days.  It was sunny with a cool breeze.  Not too many kids out in the playground.  She sat in the grass by a tree, watching a mother duck waddle with six ducklings behind her.  Her dad stood just a little bit away as he took pictures of the trees.  The sounds that drew her attention were something she hadn’t heard at the park.  It sounded like someone hitting something into the water with a bat.

As she sought out the source of the noise, she spotted a large man standing by a small rowboat on the lake shore.  He had meaty shoulders that hunched over as he looked onto the water.  One oar was in his right hand and the other lay lazily on the grass a few feet behind him.  A bucket sat on the grass to his right.

She watched as he squatted down and picked something up from the bucket, tossed it high in the air and swung the oar, sending the floppy-looking object in the air until it plopped into the water.  Wondering what he was hitting, she stood from the grass to move in closer for a better sight.

Dusting her shins of the grass that covered them, she quietly walked a few feet closer to the man.  She watched as he bent over and picked up another floppy object.  It rose quietly into the air as if it had taken a jump on a trampoline.  And then she realized what it was.

A frog.  On its descend, the sound of the oar’s wooden paddle hitting the frog’s fleshy body filled her ears.  In terror, she watched as it soared into the sky, its floppy legs dangling like broken tree limbs.  The sound of the plop as it hit the water made her stomach turn.

As it reemerged, it flopped on its back and spun slowly on the surface.  Before she knew it, another frog dropped into the water.  And another.


She didn’t know what else she was screaming.  All she knew was the wind was at her back as she raced toward the man.  As she approached him, his back to her, her little arms reached for his non-frog-killing oar.

In a flash, she was a baseball player at the bat, her right foot dug firmly into the ground.  She twisted right and with all her might she slugged that oar against that bastard frog killer’s back.  The WHACK! that oar made sounded like lightning when it struck.

Caught off-guard, the frog killer stumbled forward with a loud grunt.  Instinctively, he flung around with his eyes widened and face twisted into a grimace. 

She stood there, fire burning through her veins.  Her heart raced and her ears rang.  She knew she was a mouse compared to this giant animal-torturing meanie.

Before the frog killer could do a thing, her dad came flying to the rescue. 

As the men discussed the situation, she took that boat out and collected all the floating frogs and put them in the boat.  She sat there, sobbing because they lay dying and she couldn’t save them.

She was nine.  And I think she’d make a great baseball player, the way she swung that oar. 

One of the greatest things about this deployment is the massive amount of opportunities to meet people of all types of personalities, backgrounds, and experience.  The population here is so diverse that you will always be surprised.  Sometimes you’ll meet people you wish you hadn’t met.  And sometimes you’ll find people who grip your heart because they’ve just become your animal-loving hero.

Me, I’d cry and try to grab the animal that was being hurt.  Melissa?  She’d kick the bastard’s ass.


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