Frog Island This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

June 3, 2017
By , Clarkston, MI
For as long as I can remember my brother, Shane and I have been really close. There are pictures of us together starting the day I was born. Even when I was first born Shane liked to hang around by my crib. We would always do things together when we were younger and we still spend a lot of time together even though we're older. We always talk to each other, laugh and help each other when we need it. We’re two years apart, but we rarely fight.

I specifically remember being eight years old, at my family’s cabin in July. There is no electricity or service up there at all since we are three miles back in the woods. Because of this we play a lot of board games and entertain ourselves in ways we usually wouldn’t have to. One day on our trip the temperature got to 86 degrees. Without air conditioning, it was very uncomfortable to be inside with the humidity and limited breeze coming through the windows. The cabin is river front so it's nice to get into the cool water to cool off for a little while. This was our favorite thing to do when we were younger because the heat was miserable.

“We're going to go get in the river now mom,” I called from the doorway.
We stepped out onto the porch letting the door fall shut behind us. I had two long blonde pigtails poking out of my head and falling on to the shoulders of my dirt smudged, bright yellow shirt. The bright stripes of Shane's old swim trunks wrapped around my legs as I got off the porch and ran to the wooden stairs, my dad built years earlier. The bottom step was submerged in the water while the rest sat against the hill leading into the water. I turned around to Shane, still on the porch watching me. He had short dark hair, almost shaved. My mom always cut his hair like this in the summer to keep him from overheating when we were outside. It first started when she messed up cutting his hair a few years before. His shirt was bright blue with the American flag in the middle. I can’t wait until he outgrows that shirt, it's my favorite shirt of his. The shorts he wore were red with navy blue pockets, to match his shirt.
“Come on,” I said motioning for him to come over.
“Ok, do you want anything to use in the water?” He asked.
“No it's fine for now we can figure out something to do,” I told him.

I watched him step off the the porch onto the grass to come join me. When he walked, he took long steps and bent his knees slightly to avoid falling down the small hill. His arms always swing by his sides when he walks, I think it could just be his arms trying to catch up with his fast moving legs. When he reached the stairs I started down them to the water. With each step there was a slight creek, until I shifted my weight to the next step. At the bottom dark, purple tinted seaweed wrapped around the bank and the edge of the stairs. My dad always told us to step over the seaweed to avoid getting leeches. A crayfish scurried into the seaweed as my shadow blocked the sunlight that had been hitting it. I leaped over the seaweed into the cold water, the sand squishing against my feet. The water covered my feet and ended halfway to my knee.
“Is it cold?” Shane asked from the stairs.
“I don’t know why don’t you find ou,t” I said kicking water towards him.
He yelled as I ran away down the river with the current to my back. I laughed as I turned to see him jump into the water then turn to chase me his feet throwing water as he took each step. Shane has always been a little faster than me so he caught me soon after, tackling me from behind. I landed on my right side in the water with a huge splash and started laughing. He always tackles me, no matter where we are which leaves me with several bruises from the impact. I’ve never understood why he does this but I have become used to it over time that it doesn’t bother me anymore. We sat for a minute laughing and splashing each other with the cold water, for a few minutes then walked over to the islands of sand that had formed from the lack of rain. On the island there were small patches of grass growing as well as other weeds. In the middle, there was a tall group of different weeds growing so tall they towered over us both. On the other side of that there is a large log from a fallen tree with a large indent underneath holding water. I wonder how long it's been since that tree last stood healthy on the land around the river.

“I wonder if there's any frogs in there,” I said turning to Shane smiling.
I loved to catch frogs ever since they started appearing in our pool at home, after the rain.

“Let's go find out,” He said, already walking towards the log.

When we got there there were tons of frogs jumping around and even just sitting in the water not really moving. Each of the frogs were unique shades of green and brown with different patterns on their backs, made up of black spots. I dropped to my knees and began reaching into the water, it felt significantly warmer compared to the rest of the river. Shane followed me, mirroring my position. The first frog I caught was light green with a small yellow tint to it, such a unique color. My frog was the smallest one in the water. We caught frog after frog each time turning and showing our catch to each other,my first frog is still the smallest. The frogs were some what small so after each catch we would transfer the frog into our opposite hand which housed many other frogs. I could feel them squirming, trying to jump and push themselves out of my hand. We had been out catching frogs for what seemed like only a few minutes until my mom came out, “Dinner is ready! Time to come in.” I looked at Shane then bent down and released my handful of frogs back into the water, I watched as he did the same. We stood and watched as the frogs all spread out in the small pool of water. After a moment of silence he turned and started walking to the edge of the island in the direction of the bank. I still stood staring at the frogs as they jumped around, distracted from getting ready to go inside. A second later Shane was holding my wrist dragging me back to the cabin. I was sliding across the sand on my heels leaving a trail to where I had just been. I was confused at first but then I lost my balance and collapsed onto the ground. I started laughing at myself then looked up to see Shane smiling trying not to laugh at me. It didn’t last though because a few seconds later he was sitting on the sand next to me laughing. The sound of our laughter filled the still forest air, as we sat in the same state as when we first got into the river hours before.

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