My unfriendly neighbor

He lives in the nearby pond, along with a whole lot of bullfrogs. Every once in a while – usually when it’s stormy out – he pulls himself out of the muck and, for some reason, crosses the street.

Whenever anyone comes up on him, he just freezes in place. He doesn’t even seem to acknowledge any other presence, and so while it may simply be reptilian stupidity, it comes across as stone-cold defiance. I was heading out on an errand, and I tried to shoe him along out of the road, but to no avail. And unlike a box turtle, I’m sure as hell not going to try and pick up a snapper. So I made waving and scooping motions at his butt while telling him it would be in his own good to move along, and he just stared blankly off into space.

I figured I’d grab a shovel when I got back and dump him back into the pond if he was still sitting motionless in the middle of the lane. But there was no sign of him. Just a kingfisher cackling like mad from a tree hanging over the pond.

The walk back to the pond from the cottage wasn’t entirely wasted, though. I found that a clueless employee from the park rangers’ office had come up the road in front of the farm posting approved park activities signs along our fence – sorry, guys, at this point hiking and nature photography are definitely not permitted, at least not without the permission of the people who live here. At times it must seem to people passing by that the farm isn’t populated. But it is.

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