The Frog's Story
The frog sat down on his haunches. This is the story he told.
In the early morning, there was a hummingbird at the window of the movie theater.
It beat its wings so fast that it turned the air to butter. And from that place
the butter spread outward in a great yellow river. And it covered the sky and you
could not see where the sun was because everything was yellow.
By afternoon, the butter had begun to spoil. It dripped over the eaves of buildings
and dappled the leaves of trees; it filled the streets with a slick of foul-smelling
grease. There were many car accidents and many accounts of personal injury. In
the street there was a small yellow dog sliding around, looking lost.
By evening the whole town stank to high heaven. Those who could find their way home
bolted the doors and boarded up the windows and bathed vigorously. Air freshener
was sprayed to no avail; nothing could kill the pervading stench of rancid butter.
Families stuffed tissue paper up their noses and went to bed without supper; no one had
But as dusk fell, a great bat fluttered down from the skies to circle the radio tower,
which was the highest thing in town. It flapped its wings so slowly that the last
of the failing light turned to vinegar, and even after the light had gone completely, a slow, steady rain of vinegar continued to fall over the houses. The butter that
stuck to everything became unstuck, and butter and vinegar mixed and ran down the
sides of mailboxes and office buildings.
The next morning, the town lay drenched. A sour, fetid smell of vinegar hung in the
air. The gutters ran russet brown. The pond in the courthouse park was stocked
with thirty-eight golden, orange and silver koi, all belly-up.
One by one the people opened their doors and inhaled the reek of their neighborhoods.
Everything was strange and unrecognizable, sopping wet. There were pools in the
street. A group of teenage boys ventured out onto the lawn of the high school.
The sky was a pale, thrice-washed-bloodstain brown. With handkerchiefs over their mouths,
the people began the long task of rebuilding.
The moral of the story is that you shouldn't live in this town.
Did I mention it was magic, the hummingbird, and also the bat was magic?