Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Rainy-Day Rescue of a Fabric-Store Frog

A funny thing happened today at Hobby Lobby, and since I thought the girls would like to remember the story I put it in narrative form for them.  I decided to include it here too just for fun.

"I'm going to be Rapunzel for Halloween," Amber's big sister Robyn announced as she twirled down the aisle, waving a pattern envelope in the air. 

"Can I see?"  Amber asked, trying to catch a glimpse as Robyn rushed past.  It was always fun to look at the pictures of pretty little girls on the outside of patterns: one of the few bearable parts of going along to the fabric store when Mom decided to dive into a new sewing project.

Robyn shook her head, clutching the envelope with both hands.  "No.  It's for me.  You're going to be a ballerina, remember?"

"I want to be a princess instead," Amber answered, sticking out her lower lip.  She HAD wanted to be a ballerina--it was what she wanted to be when she grew up too--but even a poofy pink tutu seemed boring compared to a flowing purple dress and a cascading braid of yellow yarn. 

Robyn nodded sympathetically.   Sometimes it was hard to have a big sister, but Amber had to admit she was glad that Robyn was only a year older than her and could understand how important being a princess was.  "Maybe you could be Sleeping Beauty?" Robyn suggested.

"Amber, you're going to be a ballerina for Halloween," Mom said, looking up from the yardage information on the back of a pattern for a jumper.  Amber hoped the jumper would be for their baby sister Katie: it looked boring, brown, and very un-princess-like.  "You'll make a lovely ballerina.  Besides, I already bought stuff to make it with." 

"But I want to be a princess..." Amber answered, following behind, dragging her toes on the white speckled floor with each dramatically slow step.  Maybe she shouldn't have worn sandals.  It had been raining in the parking lot and now her toes were wet and her shoes were making funny squishing noises as she walked.  She stuck her lip out a little further until she could feel it curl over and touch her chin.  Even her feet weren't princess-y. 

Suddenly something caught her eye a few feet away.  Something on the ground had moved, she was sure off it!  With a quick glance up to make sure Robyn and Mom hadn't gotten too far ahead, Amber inched around the corner to get a closer look. 

It looked like a frog!  A teensy-eensy, spotty-dotty, brown-green frog resting right there beneath a long roll of upholstery fabric. 

As the frog jumped again, it's tiny legs extending and snapping back together like a khaki rubberband, Amber jumped back too.  She'd found a frog in a fabric store! 

"Mom!  Come see this!" 

"Just a minute," Mom answered, barely looking up from the package of lace in her hand.

"But, Mom, it's a FROG!" Amber shouted, moving further down the upholstery aisle as the frog hopped again.

Amber could hear her mom sigh, followed by the squeal of the shopping cart being turned around.
"Where is it?" Mom asked, turning her head back and forth obviously reviewing the merchandise closest to Amber's eye-level.

"Right there.  On the floor."  Amber pointed to help make it more clear, giggling.  Where else would a frog be?

"Oh, there is a frog," Mom said smiling.  "Someone must have lost their toy.  What a good eye you have, Amber."  Mom ruffled Amber's hair as she already started to turn the cart back towards the lace, with Robyn following her. "Hopefully whoever dropped it will come back for it before they leave."

Amber couldn't believe it: Mom and Robyn seemed so unimpressed.  Maybe if it jumped?  Working hard not to lose her balance, Amber stuck the toe of one of her sandals carefully towards the frog which promptly lept into the air. 

Mom gasped and Amber was nearly knocked over as Robyn stumbled towards her, her attention now fixed on the frog. 

"Oh my!  It's a real frog," Mom exclaimed as she leaned forward for a closer look too.  "I wonder how on earth it got clear in here?"

Robyn fanned the frog with edge of the Rapunzel pattern, prompting it to take yet another leap.  "Wow!  This is really neat!"

For the next few minutes they followed the frog, marveling at his miniature webbed feet and his smooth skin that seemed to swell ever so slightly when he breathed.  As other customers passed by they paused too, bending in to see what the girls were staring at, then starting when Amber would nudge the frog just enough to make it jump.  She loved how surprised they always were!

Finally Mom said it was time to go home.  Amber could agree that it did feel like it was about lunch time, but she was still sad to leave behind such a fun find. 

Just then a lady walked by swinging a large sparkly bag.  Amber heard her say to another woman, also carrying a rather large bag, "Huh, I wonder what will happen to that frog."  The other lady clicked her tongue once, then replied, "I don't suppose he stands much of a chance in a fabric store.  What would he eat?"

Amber paused.  She hadn't thought about that: what could a frog possibly eat in a store?  It must be so far from home!

"Mom!"  Amber hurried to catch up, grabbing Mom's purse.  "Will the frog be ok?"

Mom hesitated, glancing back and forth between Amber's face and the little green frog still bounding its way between bolts.  "I don't know, Amber, it's hard to say.  I can't imagine its easy to be a frog in a store."  She reached out and gently took Amber's hand, ready to start walking away once more.

"Can't we help him?"  Amber asked, leaning back on her heels.  "He's all alone."  Mom might not understand the importance of being a princess, but Amber was sure she would understand that little creatures shouldn't be abandoned hungry and helpless. 

Mom stopped, again switching her gaze between Amber's upturned face and the spring-loaded speck of green.  "All right," she finally said, beginning to rummage through her purse, pushing around bright pink pony tail holders and dried-out pens to eventually reveal a package of half-eaten graham crackers, which she quickly divided between the girls.  "Help me get him in here," Mom instructed, kneeling down and angling the cellophane wrapper on the ground.

Robyn rushed in, blocking the frog from one direction with the Rapunzel pattern while Amber herded the frog from the other direction.  After only a few false hops Mom triumphantly folded the wrapper closed.  Amber had a hard time seeing him through the frosted packaging, but each time their new friend jumped she heard it crackle and the noise made her smile.

Even Robyn seemed excited about the rescue plan, princess thoughts temporarily put aside.  When the checkout girl saw the Rapunzel pattern she picked it up, smiled, and, looking right at Robyn, said, "Oh this looks neat!  What sort of project are you guys up to?"  Amber expected her big sister to explain that she was going to be a princess for Halloween, but instead Robyn pointed to the funny package Mom was holding half-concealed behind her purse, exclaiming, "We found a frog in the store!" 

As they finally emerged from the double-sliding doors at the store entrance Amber hardly felt the rain.  "Let's take him over there!"  she said, pulling Mom and Robyn towards a large patch of grass on the far side of the parking lot.

"What about right here?"  Mom countered, gesturing at a small island near the curb filled with wood chips and a couple scraggly bushes. 

Amber shook her head.  No sense stopping here when surely a frog would be so much happier surrounded by all that green grass. 

At last, kneeling down on the lawn, water soaking through until Amber could feel her knees becoming wet, they peeled back the plastic opening of the little bundle.   The frog emerged, testing the grass first with a cautious jump, then quickly beginning to bound higher and higher from one patch to the next, seemingly luxuriating in his new frog-friendly freedom.

"I'm glad you wanted to help him," Mom said, gently pushing aside a wet lock of hair on Amber's forehead so she could give her a kiss.  Amber snuggled in close to her mom and Robyn, feeling warm inside even though her skin was wet and chilly.  "What do you think the frog is going to do now?"  Mom asked.

"I think he's going to go look for his family," Amber answered, convinced that even a frog must know that having a family is the best thing in the world.  Even better than being a princess for Halloween. 


  1. P.S. As of posting we haven't actually finalized Halloween costumes. Robyn is still torn between being a witch or a princess (or a birthday cake) and Amber actually really does want to be a ballerina. I think they were just both completely smitten with the really pretty picture on the pattern envelope today, so we'll wait and see how everything shakes out in the end. :)

  2. Good save Amber! Nicely said.....

  3. I was sure someone was going to want to be a frog!

  4. Dad says "Why did somebody kiss it!"

  5. I am so glad I found your blog! I found you on Jamie's. It will be fun to keep up with you guys. We love you!

  6. I think this story needs pictures... illustrations!

  7. How about a princess ballerina? We had to squeeze all sorts of names into Gabriella's costume last year. I believe the final official name was "baby jaguar princess". A little tiara would be the perfect finishing touch to a lovely ballerina costume:) Good luck with that!