I’ve always been a very internal person, wrapped up in my thoughts. I walk a lot, and often I don’t see much along the way. I see just enough to avoid running into things. I don’t remember seeing anything. I’m thinking.
So, I must have been 12 or 13 years old, walking along my usual route across town, taking a shortcut through the American Legion parking lot, when I felt something soft squish under my shoe. I look down and there is dead frog. I killed a frog!
For about 2 weeks afterwards, every day when I walked past that spot, there was the dead frog. It decayed there in place. It became a dried, shriveled frog skin. I was reminded of my careless, murderous act. I was reminded of mortality. I was reminded that larger forces can strike us down without warning, at any time, through no fault of our own.
I don’t think I learned anything at all from stepping on a frog. I’m still not very careful when I’m out walking. It could happen again. I just hope that nobody accidentally steps on me.