On a warm summer morning, driving to work down a tree-lined residential street, something landed on the hood of my car. The windshield was dewy, so I hit the wipers to improve the view. It wasn’t a leaf after all, it was a tree frog, a little smaller than a half-dollar. He managed to hold on when I stopped at the corner.
A mile down the road, he was still hanging on. When I stopped at a light, he inched toward the windshield and then leapt into the well where the defrost vents are. I’m no car guy, but I figured whatever was down there wouldn’t be good for his world view. Oh, well, I thought, we’re not exactly short of tree frogs on my street.
A couple of blocks later, he jumped out of the wiper well onto the windshield. I quickly turned off the wipers so I wouldn’t smear him across the glass or fling him into traffic. We stared at each other as he continued his high-risk maneuvers, attempting to climb the still-wet glass to the top of the car at twenty-five miles an hour, leaving little frog-shaped dry spots where he landed. He made it to the top and I turned my attention back to the road just in time to avoid running a red light.
When I arrived at work, some eight miles away, I hopped out of the car and immediately searched the top of the car for any sign of him. He was gone. I’m choosing to believe that we reached his stop and he hopped off and went his froggy way.
But my mind kept going back to that nearly-missed traffic signal. Can you imagine the cynical look on the policeman’s face when I roll down the window and explain, “Well, you see, there was this frog…”