Once, long before any of the animals lived apart from each other, there was a frog named Pakwa. Nothing extraordinary about her, her family, or community. As she transitioned from childhood into adulthood, however, Pakwa began noticing the flaws she beheld as compared to the many perfect creatures living around the world. “Why does everyone, even other animals who are similar to me, always look so perfect and on fleek twenty-four seven? Why am I the only one who seems to exist in the ‘extra ordinary’ category of life?” Rather than living with these questions unanswered, Pakwa began her journey at the break of dawn.
Approaching from behind, a jaguar commented, “It’s quite a long journey for such a small and delicate frog as you, sister.” Startled by the swiftness the jaguar demonstrated and the chicness of his fur, Pakwa shyly replied, “Why yes, it is quite a long journey. It will augment in length before it is over, though. My apologies, sir, but I must be going now.” “Indeed, sister. A long journey awaits; never forget what it brings you, it will forget you otherwise.”
Vibrantly colored feathers full of patterns appeared shortly after that previous run-in. Peacocks everywhere fanned their tails and pridefully ranted about the beauty each individually held. Mesmerized by the elegance and boastfulness the feathers presented, Pakwa yearned to be like them. She was only one tone of green; no blues, reds, browns, or greens in such variety. Afraid to be a possible target of negative attention, Pakwa decided it was time to move onward.
After traveling three more days, Pakwa reached the outer forest. It appears thick, but is small in the eyes of determination. Confused about where to head next, Pakwa finds a raccoon nearby. “Excuse me, I’m lost, would you please direct me?” Turning around to face Pakwa, the raccoon mumbles a few words then exclaims, “Uh, sure. If you’re looking for the rainforest, it’s back there. The savanna and grasslands are to the right. Oh, and anywhere else is the ocean. What are you doing out here?” Unwilling to fully explain, Pakwa simply replied “Well, I’m on a personal mission. Thank you for the directions, though.” “Yeah-yeah. Just watch what you’re willing to listen to; remember, not everything is as it may seem.”
It didn’t take long to reach the grassland. A few hundred yards from the entrance of the grassland was the savanna. Crossing the grassland, Pakwa found a herd of kangaroos. Spotted by one of them, the kangaroo asked, “My dear, what are you doing all the way out here? Surely you don’t belong in such an area as this, do you?” Looking up at the kangaroo, Pakwa said, “No, ma’am. I’m from the rainforest. Currently, I am working on a personal project. Do you know where I might be able to find fulfillment?” “The rainforest is a long ways away. May I ask what kind of fulfillment you are seeking out here? Please, can call me Aroo.” “Perhaps so. I’m seeking to be extraordinary, instead of the same, extremely ordinary thing.” Gently shaking her head, Aroo understood everything, no further details were necessary. “Oh, dear child, there’s nothing wrong with being ordinary. I’d say, you are already extraordinary simply through embarking on such a journey as this. Needless to say, you are already unique and lovely. Why would you ever want to change that?” “Everyone is unique, I know. Yet, I want to be more than just unique. I want to be like everyone else who is extraordinarily a true rarity. Pardon the end of this conversation, but I truly need to keep moving. Thank you for your insightful words; have a great day!” With that, Aroo kindly replied, “You are very welcome. Hope the remainder of your journey is a success in finding what you’re truly seeking. Just remember to keep your mind open.”
Traveling a short distance more, Pakwa crossed paths with a gazelle. “Woah, who and what are you?” the gazelle said as soon as Pakwa came into view. A little baffled, she answered, “I’m Pakwa, a green tree frog. May I ask likewise of who and what you are? I think this is a new experience for the both of us.” “I’m Moki and I’m a gazelle. Must be, I ain’t never seen a creature like you before.” “Neither have I.” Pakwa agreed. “So, where are you from and why are you alone out here?” Moki eagerly inquired. “I’m on a mission to find more fulfillment and become extraordinary, instead of just a regular frog. I’ve traveled all the way from the rainforest to, presently, here.” “Ah, cool. Wow, that’s a long distance to travel. You’re all by yourself, too. Well, after never seeing anything or one like you before, and to travel that far alone, I’d say that’s pretty admirable. You certainly aren’t ordinary; no, no, nope. Ooh, got to go. Good luck on your quest and remember all that you’ve learned so far.”
Aimlessly wandering about for the rest of the day, Pakwa came to a sandy beach. Above, a parrot elegantly drifted through the sky, bearing each and every one of its scintillating colors. “Oh how magnificently that bird is flying. How I wish I were as colorful and bold as he. Yet, it may never be, no matter how hard I try.” Pakwa grumbled to herself.
Next thing she knew, it was dark, she was alone, and in a forest unknown to her. Terrified of the dangers, Pakwa decided to continue moving onward. Suddenly, in the silence of the night, a stir in the trees frightened her still. Choosing to remain in hiding, the noises quickly settled. However, as soon as Pakwa moved a single inch, the noise prevailed again, growing much louder with every passing moment. Slowly time passed and the forest was once more silent… too silent.
“An easy snack with a killer inside, although you are much larger than the commonly seen darts. What would bring such a frog as yourself to an area of many predators?” Petrified to acknowledge there’s a soundless animal behind her, Pakwa gently turned around to face her opposer. Gulping she said, “I’m just on my way back to the rainforest.” “I see that. You are lucky I knew of you, many others wouldn’t think twice before eating you, ma’am. If I may, why did you leave the rainforest - your home - in the first place?” Fascinated with this knowledge, she softly explained her journey in the brief.
“Ma’am, you seem to have learned a great lot. Nevertheless, you are missing the reward of the lessons you heard. Tell me, is there anything you may have picked up on multiple times throughout it all?” Thoughts and memories flew through Pakwa’s mind as she relived everything. “Well, it seems like I was striving to be extraordinary. However, the kind of extraordinary I was seeking was actually what many seek after.” “There is the lesson, young one. Now, what is the missing reward?” With the passing of a few moments, Pakwa exclaimed, “The truth is you don’t have to be ‘extra ordinary’ to be extraordinary. You just have to be yourself and who you truly are.” “Child, this is your rewarded treasure. Never forget it, always keep it, and never be afraid to share its story. Rest well, knowing this path has ended and another begins.”