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Life in a box

May 25th, 2004 · No Comments

Friday we made a discovery while at the recycling center. Earlier this spring, I had bought a number of plants for the yard and I stacked the emptied containers inside our garage until I had time to take them to be recycled. Friday morning I put some cardboard and the containers inside the van and drove down the island.

When I arrived at the center though, as I looked inside the containers, I saw we had a refugee. A frog friend who had been hiding inside the plastic cylinders. It must have hopped inside the garage and then found a home in the dirt and darkness of the planters.


The best way to care for the amphibian stowaway, I realized, was to take it back home. I could have let it hop about at the dump, but that would be a quick and certain end. Better to try to bring it home and let it go in the garden.

So I inverted one container over another and created a small temporary cage of sorts for the critter. I asked Abigail to hold it in the van as I drove so the frog wouldn’t get loose. Then we headed home.

From the back seat, as I drove, the girls exclaimed how they could see the frog through the holes in the planters. How the frog was hopping and jumping.

It reminded me of a time when I was a girl and our cat caught a bird but he had only injured it on one wing. It was still alive, hopping around, and so my mom decided we would take it to the Humane Society. I sat in the back seat holding the shoe box with the bird inside as she drove.

I remember that feeling, holding the box and sensing the bird hopping around inside. It was both fragile and frightening, amazing and strange, that fact that I had contained something living and could hold it in a box in my lap. The vibrations and flutters through the cardboard walls that communicated there is something alive inside.

There’s life inside this box. And I want to let it out.

the girls saying goodbye to the frog released in our garden

Tags: journal