Hopping to a Different Drum

It was a lovely walk – a quiet, early morning, not yet hot. Lots of birds, small to large – finches and chickadees, woodpeckers and red-winged blackbirds, red-tailed and sharp-shinned hawks, turkey vultures. But uneventful.

Until I left the park. As I was crossing the street, I noticed something moving on the ground. Something small, with small, irregular movements.

I paused to look closer, and realized it was a tiny frog, no larger than my thumbnail. It hopped hopped hopped, then paused and crawled for a few inches. As I watched, I saw more movements out of the corner of my eye.

There were several frogs, all tiny, all hopping in the same direction. No, there were lots of frogs. Not a swarm, but a steady trickle. They ranged in size from my thumbnail to the last section of my thumb. Nearly the same color as the concrete, they looked like bits of rock in the roadway – until they moved. They would hop hop hop, then pause, then hop some more, and some would crawl for a few inches or feet before hopping again.

They hopped up out of the road, toward the pond at the edge of the park. I marveled, and cheered them on, saying, “Go, go, go! You’re almost there!”

I stood there for a few minutes, just watching as they paraded along the edge of the road, up onto the curb and across the path. All going in the same direction.

Except for the ones who weren’t.  As I watched, every now and then one would turn off to the left, back into the street in a completely different direction. At first I wanted to shout, “Wait! You’re going the wrong way!” But The Rebel in me also wanted to cheer them on, even though it was farther and more dangerous to head toward the pond on other side of the road. The less crowded one. “You Go!” I said, “Don’t give up!”

I don’t know how long I stood there watching this tiny parade. (I must have looked odd to the people driving by as I stood, staring at the ground, seemingly looking at nothing.) Finally I wished them well and headed across the street toward home. Then I stopped. Where the heck were they coming from? How did they know where to go?

I turned around and went back across the street, and followed the parade backwards around the corner for about 50 feet as it made its way along the side of the road. I got to the place where they were crossing the road from the field on the other side. A few got run over by cars as they went by, but most made it.

How did they know where to go? Why hadn’t they been spotted by any birds, who could have had quite a breakfast?

Finally I went on my way, pondering: I saw something today that perhaps no one else saw. That by itself was pretty cool. It made me wonder about things and ask questions I wouldn’t have thought to ask otherwise. And it reminded me to celebrate those who take on big tasks, and to celebrate those who hop to a different drum.

Work with a coach who notices things everyone else misses,
and can help you see them, too!
Contact me: susan at susanTblake . com

Photographer: Ian Britton – FreeFoto.com

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5 Responses to Hopping to a Different Drum

  1. Square-Peg Karen June 2, 2012 at 12:49 pm #

    Love this: “celebrate those who hop to a different drum.” – YES! Susan, I love your curiosity and sense of wonder!!

  2. Beverly Mederios June 2, 2012 at 1:18 pm #

    loved this….what park were you at….?

  3. Susan T. Blake June 2, 2012 at 1:19 pm #

    Thanks Karen! Kinda thought you’d appreciate it – Square Peg Frogs!

  4. Susan June 2, 2012 at 1:26 pm #

    I was coming out of the Marilyn Kane Trail at the south end on Valley. One of my favorite parks!

  5. FaeNathara June 2, 2012 at 8:31 pm #

    Oooooh, another awesome animal experience! I bet they were just TOO cute, too!

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