Friday, June 11, 2010

A watery encounter

Normally, my workout consists of running and a little bit of weight training when I want to feel extra virtuous. But when, in April, the temperature soared so high, the mercury threatened to push its way out of the thermometer, I re-discovered the swimming pool. There is something almost therapeutic about water- things which otherwise seem so complicated become really simple when you are in the water. I stopped running and started swimming.
Last summer, I had been able to push myself to 20 laps, so I started at that level this year. In a week, I was able to increase it to 30 laps, and then I started doing it without pushing myself too hard. My timings were erratic, so on some days I had the pool virtually to myself, and on other days I had to share it with dozens of school kids. While I preferred the solitude of an empty pool, I made sure I completed my quota of laps everytime I entered.
Then the rains came, and everyone abandoned the pool. No matter what time I went, the pool was deserted. I loved it. One day, when I was in the water, it started raining. It was almost magical swimming in the azure pool with the rain pouring around you. I told myself I would continue visiting the pool every day till it got too cold to enter the water.
I had completed 10 laps in my personal pool today, when out of the corner of my eye, I saw a frog.

He wasn't doing anything. He was just sitting at the edge of the pool contemplating this strange creature moving in the water. He wasn't doing any harm, but I couldn't help it. I let out a yell before swimming away.
He's just a harmless creature, I told myself. And he has more reasons to be scared of you than you have to be scared of him. I continued swimming, and when I returned to that end of the pool, I was relieved to see that he hadn't moved from his position.
Embolded, to swam another lap. When I came close to the edge, I was relieved to see that the frog had disappeared. I was relieved. But not for too long. Just as I was about to touch the wall, he hopped onto the very place where my hand would have been a couple of moments later.
I let out another scream and swam away as fast as I could. The frog continued staring at the strange creature.

I should have climbed out and gone home, but I couldn't bring myself to abandon a workout midway. Since I didn't have the courage to continue swimming, I decided to jog in the water for a couple of minutes.
I had barely started when I saw this large, crinkled, brown leaf floating towards me. Something about it looked not quite right, and when I looked again, I saw it was another frog swimming towards me.

I didn't wait to see if he was friendly or not. I rushed out of the pool and ran all the way home.

I know a frog cannot really harm me. But close encounters with two frogs is more than I can be expected to handle.

Tomorrow, I hit the gym again. If the pool is abandoned in the monsoons, it is not without reason.

______
No frogs were harmed in writing this post. If the frogs suffered trauma because of the encounter with the mysterious creature bearing down on them and letting out high pitched yells, it was nothing compared to the trauma inflicted by their sheer presence on said creature.
Photographs of frogs not taken by me - photo credits: Frog on bough, Frog swimming

18 comments:

aLmYbNeNr said...

Aw, Rayna! I like frogs, I've held a couple LOL!
But I understand being scared of something and realizing at the same time that it can't hurt you, but still not being able to shake that feeling. I'm that way with ants. ANTS LOL! :)

welcome to my world of poetry said...

I am with you all the way on this one. when my husband was alive we had a fishpond in the back garden
very nice it was too. After he passed away I decided to empty the pond as the fish had long gone.
Well Rayna, as I got to the bottom of the pond there were 92 middle sized frogs, my nieghbour came and counted them as he let them go.
I was gone,

Have a lovely week-end.
Yvonne,

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Those poor frogs will be traumatized for life.

Southpaw said...

Poor little froggies, they just wanted a swimming buddy. LOL

slommler said...

Poor little frog!! He was just trying to keep wet!! He wouldn't hurt you!
But I sure do understand being a little nervous about it
Hugs
SueAnn

Cruella Collett said...

I am not very fond of amphibians or reptiles in any shape or size, but frogs are among those I like better than the rest. I still wouldn't feel very comfortable swimming with them, though, so I would have done what you did.

When I was in Japan these cute little frogs kept climbing up the walls. I once took a picture of one clinging to a window. They were not so cute anymore when we realized that this might also mean they could ENTER through the window and jump into our beds, though. My roomate used to go frog hunting every night before bed, but thankfully she never found anyone (I'm still pretending this implies there weren't any inside).

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

I see I am not the only one who over reacts to creepy, crawly or hoppy things!) I think frogs are cute but I want them to keep their distance.

Clarissa Draper said...

Please tell me that those are not the frogs that you saw and that that's not the pool you were swimming in. The water looks really dirty.

CD

Rayna M. Iyer said...

@ Amber - when I was a kid, I kept a frog in a shoebox. Obviously age has not been good for me!

@ Yvonne - I would have had nightmares if it had happened to me. And bless your neighbour for counting them.

@ Alex - like I care- I am worried about my own trauma. But seriously, the first frog was looking at me like I would at some creature in the zoo.

@ Southpaw - they just have to learn do do without me. LoL

@ Sue - I *know* that, but fear is a strange thing. After I stopped shaking, I even thought about the clorinated water not being too good for them.

@ Mari - you seem to have a whole repertoire of animal adventures in Japan, don't you. Wonder if they just have more animals?

@ Jane - me too. I can even bring myself to admire them, but strictly at the other end of a telephoto lens

@ Clarissa - you think I was in any condition to take photographs? And if I were in that water, frogs is the least thing I would be worried about.

Al said...

I love, love, love frogs.

Where we used to live in Queensland we had piles of green tree frogs and brown tree frogs. They came around every night to catch moths and other insects that were attracted to our lights. Simply enchanting!

Drama Queen said...

OMG, that's too funny! And you call ME the Drama Queen!

I laughed - but I would have screamed, too, if I had encountered frogs in my pool!

Rayna M. Iyer said...

@ Al - you are a brave man. I can deal with frogs, even admire them, but only on the other side of a telephoto lens.

@ Sherri - busted! I am very much a drama queen - only I try to keep it under wraps.

ritu said...

u kept a frog in a shoebox - how fascinating- how old were u then? do recount some of ur exploits with it.

a poem i incidentally read 2 days back - n' which i liked -but u can be sure my reaction would have been ditto yours-

Spring Wish
A frog's a very happy thing,
Cool and green in early spring,
Quick and silver through the pool,
With no thought of books or school.

Oh, I want to be a frog,
Sunning, stretching on a log,
Blinking there in splendid ease,
Swimming naked when I please,
Nosing into magic nooks,
Quiet marshes, noisy brooks.

Free! And fit for anything!
Oh, to be a frog in spring!
by John Chipman Farrar

dipali said...

I'd rather not have frogs swimming alongside, thank you very much!
We had to dissect a vast number of frogs when we were in school- it seems so pointless now:(

Rayna M. Iyer said...

@ Ritu - such a wonderful poem. And nothing too exciting about keeping a frog in a shoebox- we lived in a place where there were many frogs, and one decided to make its home in a shoebox. Since I desperately wanted a pet, I pretended he was the one.

@ Dipali - pointless the dissections we had to do, isn't it? No frogs for me, but I did countless rats. Same difference.

Rayna M. Iyer said...

@ Ritu - such a wonderful poem. And nothing too exciting about keeping a frog in a shoebox- we lived in a place where there were many frogs, and one decided to make its home in a shoebox. Since I desperately wanted a pet, I pretended he was the one.

@ Dipali - pointless the dissections we had to do, isn't it? No frogs for me, but I did countless rats. Same difference.

Carol Fleisher said...

I don't like frogs either. I can totally relate. Great post. :)

Rayna M. Iyer said...

Thanks, Carol. I can just about tolerate frogs, but definitely not share a pool with them.
Yeeks!

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