"Who wants to go to the pond?" she asks
The replies come back as "All right", "Let's go", "good idea", "Race ya" and of course "Last one there is a rotten egg".
"I'll get the jars" she says as she races to the garage.
All the kids racing up the hill, completely out of breath and hoping there is actually some water in the pond. It dries up every year as spring fades into the warm summer. But in the Spring, that's the best time to go.
Up and over the dead end barrier all of them race, with only one care in the world, to not be last and be the rotten egg.
Slipping up the hillside in the soft dirt, sliding down the other side, and doing everything to avoid losing your shoe in the deep mud. The minute you hit the other side of that sloping hill, you are transported to another world.
A world of nature. You can smell the moss, mixed with the fresh air of spring. No houses can be seen, just rolling green hills that fade into Malibu Canyon. If you stand in one place long enough you can hear the gnats buzz by your ear. The girls wear pony tails so, like a horse, a swish of your head clears the gnats for a moment from your ears.
Alas, the pond. The murky water, still as the air, until you see a water spider slide across the top with ease to grab a tasty snack. The mosquitoes, that never bothered the kids, hovering over the surface of the water.
She moves ever so swiftly to the edge of the water, looking.....searching....
Her keen eyesight spotting exactly what she wants.
"Quick, gimmie a jar" the girl states
She slides down near the water, squats and gently lowers her jar into the water. Along with the muck, and dirty water, they flowed into the jar silently.
"I got em" she happily screams.
She covers her pickle jar with the cap that has holes poked in the top, and she peers in the side.
Her eyes a glow with fascination. There they are, a few with little tails, and some with the beginnings of legs. Precious Polliwogs.
They begin in the water, and grow, develop and change. Much like a baby in the womb. They emerge from the water fully developed and then they can sustain themselves on their surroundings.
Another successful trip to the pond. Her eyes dance across the water, searching for more. Her arms gently, yet securely, embracing her treasures from the pond. She'll keep them safe from the drying pond, from the birds and other creatures.
And when they become frogs she will remove them, name them, love them and set them free, back to the waters of the pond in the rainy season to start a new batch, because it's the water that gives the life of these ever changing polliwogs.
That little girl was me, time and time and time again. I hope to someday take my own sons to a pond to catch polliwogs.
This story was written for a memoir prompt at the red dress club but was one of my favorite memories and one of the most fun to write, I felt it deserved a 2nd post.