Wednesday, August 29, 2012
I had to write quickly about what happened today. John and I went out for the afternoon to climb at a local cliff in NH. We both scrambled up to a ledge where we could rest and get ready for the climb. John makes a few moves up as he starts to climb and stands up on a smaller ledge and yells "oooof". A smaller squirt of something comes flying from where he is standing down to me. I look up. Not even two seconds and a creature comes hurling over the ledge as well. John says, "ah, man. I didn't see him. That's too bad." See what, I thought. He stepped on him. He stepped on the frog. And then the frog committed suicide by jumping. Now John continues climbing up the cliff as the frog is sitting next to me. Not moving at all. Now I have to stare at the dead frog as John goes about his way. Thanks a lot. Next thing I know, I get yelled at for not paying attention to belaying John (and the rope) as I stare intently at the frog. Is he dead? As I look away, and look back again. Frog is gone. He's alive! (Or eaten, I guess that could happen) As I continue to be a bad belayer, I finally spot the frog like 10 minutes later. The tree next to the one I'm leaning against has a small scoop in it's trunk. I don't know how he got up to it but now he (actually, it could be a she) is snuggled in tight and resting his head on a little bump with his eyes closed. He looked so sad. Was he dying a slow death? No other frogs came to see if he was ok. I reached over and poked him gently to see if he was again dead and nothing. Just freezing cold skin. Now I feel bad. I don't really feel like climbing anymore. Day is ruined. When I reached John, I told him he killed the frog. He said he stepped on him pretty hard. John is getting slightly irritated by my concern for the frog as I'm not paying attention to our rope management as we are dangling 200 feet on a cliff. I've never felt this bad for running over frogs when they leap one leap too many into the road. I felt kinda bad when one ran into my lawn mower and came out in pieces. But this time killed me. (Funny choice of words) He just sat there, and I had to watch him suffer. How much pain was he in? Do they have pain like we have pain? He basically got smashed by a house, lost some of his insides and then took a 200 foot fall. The second we make it down to the frog ledge, I told John to look for him. He said he couldn't find him. "I'll go look." Not a good idea, he said, since nature called. Great, now you peed on him, I thought. He was right, frog wasn't in his little tree scoop. Maybe he needed comfort as he hurt so he stayed next to me. I wasn't the one to step on him after all. Or maybe he could care less. Three frogs down in almost a week. And I feel badly.