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Bull Frogs and Mountain Dew

Slimy, squishy, slippery frogs jumped from rock to rock as my Uncle Brian and I worked as a team to catch the fast creatures. I followed his lead as he carefully balanced on two separate rocks, crouching down quietly and striking fast. When he stood up, he cupped his hands and held them out to me. An unharmed little green frog looked up to us, blinking once or twice before trying to hop out. A loud sound drew our attention to a grouping of rocks behind my uncle, but I couldn’t see what made the noise. My uncle carefully put the frog down, and motioned for me to follow him. We trekked about 10 feet slowly and cautiously, and I saw the biggest bull frog I had ever seen. I was greatly intrigued and excited. My uncle handed me a red disposable plastic cup, and as I looked up at him with a confused expression, he explained, “Melanie, I want you to catch this frog. Use the cup to help you where the frog is so big, and go slowly. You’ve been catching frogs for years now, so I know you can do it.” With this encouragement, I mimicked my uncle’s movements and focused in on what he had taught me ever since I was very little. I made sure my balance was steady, crouched down with the frog facing away from me, and in one quick motion scooped the bull frog up and covered the top of the cup with my hand. The frog was strong, and pushed against my palm from inside the cup. “You did it,” Uncle Brian said, patting my back. “Let’s head back to camp and show everyone what you caught.”

We returned to our camp lot, placed the frog in a 5 gallon bucket, and poked some holes in the lid for air. Everyone was surprised at the sheer size of the frog, and I was so proud of myself. I sat in front of the bonfire my dad had started earlier that afternoon, and my uncle sat next to me. He handed me a Mountain Dew, and we stared out at the calm lake waters, listening to the frogs singing their songs, sipping our sodas.

That was about 10 years ago, at my favorite lake in Maine, Pleasant Lake. Recently, my uncle Brian has moved up to Maine, leaving behind his life in Connecticut. I’ve always looked up to him, and wanted to be just like him. Random, funny, and crazy, but always the best person anyone could ever be. Having him not be 15 minutes away makes it harder to go to him with problems, or just have someone else to talk to in attempts to cheer me up when I’m down. But, I always remember how my trips to Maine were when I was little, and how I’ll get to be with my uncle again. We won’t have to have our Rockband wars through the internet, poke wars on Facebook, or tease each other with a webcam. We’ll frog hunt again at the lake we love, sit around the fire, drinking Mountain Dews.





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