I went for a walk the other day, little stars-in-my-sky. If you had been with me, we could have talked to the pollywogs together.
It’s just the edge of summer now, and the ponds and puddles are filled with wriggly-squiggly pollywogs, little frogs-to-be, and perhaps a few salamanders as well. Near my home there’s a ditch that swells with water in the spring, then it’s a race with the sun, for the tadpoles to grow to frogs before the water dries away. The surface is covered with a velvety layer of tiny green duckweed, like the tiniest lily pads, floating with their silky thread roots dangling below. I used to love duckweed when I was your age. I never knew what I might find beneath it, crawfish or pollywogs or baby fish.
I walked gently to the edge of the water, not wanting to scare the pollywogs. Have you seen pollywogs, my littles? They’re like jumpy brown commas in the water, tiny and slippery and very fast. They eat tiny bits of things in the water, and when they’re big enough you can barely feel them nibble at your fingers in a tickly sort of way.
As my shadow touched the water, it seemed very still, with the duckweed floating in a speckled mat. Then, plip! One little pollywog felt my shadow and flipped his tail out of the water as he sped to the safety of the bottom. Plip! Plip! Two more. Then suddenly the surface of the water was dancing and singing, plip-plip-plip, plip-plip, plip-plip-plip-plip, as hundreds of tiny tails slapped the water. And just like that, it was still again. I told them not to be silly, I only wanted to keep them company for a while, but you know how pollywogs are.
Maybe your shadows wouldn’t frighten them so much. Shall we try it?