The tractor doesn’t get put into work every day. It depends on the weather and the season, but usually every three days or so we fire it up. In between, it sits in the outer ring of the barnyard under a tarp to keep the water out. That little micro climate and the relative peace of a day or two, usually deludes at least one tree frog into thinking it has found the perfect new place to call home, most typically deep inside the engine compartment. I can’t even imagine the startle factor to the frog when that diesel engine roars to life. This has happened often enough now that I wait for it and when the bewildered frog appears, I catch or shoo it to safety. No one showed up today; not when I started the engine, or drove to the barn, or filled the front loader, or even on the first part of the ride out into the back pasture. That little fella did not show himself until I was deep in the back part of the property. As measured by tree frog parameters, he was practically a life’s journey away from where he began. I didn’t want to dump him so far from “home” and since I had the higher perspective, so to speak, it was up to me to get him back. So, I stopped my work and drove the tractor slowly back to its parking spot, “talking” to the frog the whole time in order to encourage his good behavior. Call me crazy, but he seemed to be enjoying the ride.
I am calling this an act of kindness, but also a lesson to learn. In truth, that frog experience could be a darn good metaphor for life — for me anyway. So much of what has happened in the world these last five years has been the equivalent of living snugly only to have a diesel engine roar to life beneath you, terrifying and unpredictable. The world is not safe, it is a beast that has been sleeping and is now awake. You get the picture. But still, that wee frog adjusted and in doing so, gained a new perspective. Maybe it is possible.