A slimy, green, croaking toad leaves my hands and jumps down to the edge of the water. Its eyes pan for its lily pad. It is dark forest green. I cannot believe I have caught it, and I am sad to let it go. I wipe my hands on my jeans and continue to look on. My socks and shoes are wet and soaked through from wading in the pond. So’s the bottom part of my jeans. I start to feel that familiar annoyance when things like this happen and there are no change of clothes or towels available. I squish my way back to the car. As I approach the parking lot, I realize my car is no longer there. Stolen, I realize to myself. Annoyed and frustrated, I must now walk at least a mile to the Ranger Station to use their phone and call someone for a ride. Thoughts pass of calling the police to report the car as stolen. But I realize I can’t. I told Jean I’d lay low, so that’s what I’m doing – laying low. This turn of events is unfortunate, but I must resolve to move forward and take things as they come. My sneakers squish down the plain road and walk down to the Ranger’s Office. After 20 minutes or so I arrive, but the office is empty. I check the doorknob and it’s unlocked. A rumble of thunder jolts me and I turn on my heel back from where I came. The sky is black and menacing, promising a good storm. I turn face forward and the sky is sunshine and blue. The black sky behind is moving fast, so I let myself into the office and have a seat in front of the first desk I see. I take off my hat and rest it on my knee. Looking around, I lean into a desk fan blowing sweet cool air and make sure it hits my face, which is perspiring slightly.
“Hello?” I call out. But all I hear is the fan oscillating and the ticking of its blades. I abruptly get up and start to look around and start to hear something distant. A croak, a ribit. It is getting closer now.