Thursday, December 21, 2023

Revisiting Frog

We all had talents but none quite like
Frog and Arvid's. 

I have been told that we are born with a talent. Figuring out what that talent is can be the hard part. If you are a "gifted" writer or musician or even an artist you are fortunate. But not all of us are gifted with beautiful talents. The plumber or electrician does not get an audience. Still, we value those people. But what about all the others.

What about the gifted liar. You know that person... they cannot open their mouth and tell the truth. The lie was there and that was that. I knew a boy named Arvid. His mom was a really nice woman. But Arvid stood out. He got to skip school sometimes because he was such a gifted liar he could convince his mom that there was no school on Fridays. 

The lovely mother of Arvid finally caught up with him so then he could not take any days off even when there was no school. He would go by our house early in the morning with his lunch box ready for a day at school even when there was no school. 

"Where are you going Arvid. There is no school today."

"I told my mom but she didn't believe me," he answered in disgust.

His talent was grudgingly admired in our little community. 

Many years ago I wrote about a character named Frog. I had known someone like him when I was a child playing in the dusty streets on summer nights. That boy that I later named Frog could cuss a blue streak. Where he learned those words only he knew. And his cuss words were colorful as well as descriptive. They appeared in places that were not needed just out of the clear blue sky.

"Well, #@_#@" he would say. My eyes even watered sometimes.

He was redheaded like his mother and freckles covered his face and nose. Dirty hands and necks were common but his face was always clean and so was his hair. His mother was a good mom. You could see him coming a block away. Frog was fun although just a bit scary. When I was caught jumping up and down on the bed, it was probably Frog's cuss words I was using. I blamed it on my aunt but really it was Frog.

Frog was one of those talented children. What he did with that talent is hard to imagine. Liars can be politicians but cussers?

School must have been torture for him.

I had a hard time picturing him in the classroom without the cuss words showing up in the middle of his reading or during math exercises. Thank heavens our teacher was well-used and weather-worn. She knew a good cuss word when she heard it.

I always wondered what became of Frog and if he ever tamed the demon of words that lived in his mind. They just seemed to come out of nowhere and I always felt like Frog was as surprised as we were when he opened his mouth to talk.  I suppose Arvid felt the same way. It was hard for them.

But again, what good is a talent if you don't use it?

What is your talent?


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