Ribbit! was a fantastic prompt from KL Caley at New2Writing.com for this week’s #writephoto. Having clarified that it was a frog and a toad pictured in the pond, I wandered off, thinking. And eventually knew how to start, and how to finish. The interesting thing is what happened in the middle. Write from the heart, they say. It’s about 320 words.

the image shows a two frogs (or toads, I’m never certain of the difference – KLC) in amongst some water and leaves

Ribbit!

“Ribbit!”

“Grnnk.”

“Ribbit!”

“Grnnk.”

“What do you mean, grnnk? What language are you speaking, anyway?”

“I’m speaking Toad, of course. And I might ask the same of you: what do you mean, ribbit?”

“Toad? That explains it. I’m Frog. What are you doing in my country?”

“Your country? I thought this was a free country, open borders and all that.”

“Oh, that all changed a couple of years ago. A few idiots decided we should stop people invading… sorry, immigrating to our pond. We voted on it, but there was one vote more in favour of barring everybody. How did you get in?”

“Across the ditch. It’s easy enough to cross, if you watch out for waterboatmen and patrolling dragonflies.”

“An illegal immigrant, then?”

“No, I’m an asylum seeker.”

“What’s the difference?”

“I’m seeking asylum from the environmental devastation happening in the wetlands across the ditch, over there.” The toad nodded towards the horizon, where giant cranes towered into the sky, moving heavy blocks through the air to land them on the once-pleasant countryside beyond.

“Well, there’s no room here for you.”

“Looks like plenty of room for me. And I work hard: capable of multiple pest-eradication processes, all according to sustainable principles. I’m also a climate change lawyer, but I think you don’t recognise my qualifications.”

“I don’t understand any of that.”

“Didn’t you do it in school?”

“No, we only did what we had to learn for our SATs in school. Like present participles and parts of speech no adult has ever heard of.”

“Ah, well. The land of freedom is not as rosy as it seems, then. Never mind. We’ll be good friends and neighbours. What can I help you with today?”

“Well, I’m working on a song. I’m calling it the Frog Chorus.”

“I can do the bass line. How does it go?”

“Ribbit!”

“Grnnk.”

“Ribbit! Ribbit!”

“Grnnk.Grnnk.””

“We all swim together.”

© J M Pett 2022

writephoto

Ribbit! | #writephoto Flash Fiction
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