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The Visit Of A Frog
B. Carradine
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TOPIC and SUBTOPIC: Light, and Hatred For The Light.

TITLE: The Visit Of A Frog

In a certain camp meeting, my tent was placed in a neck of timber looking down into a valley covered with woods. With a desire to have a homelike appearance, I lighted a little fire in front of my canvas shelter, knowing that even the Indian wigwam is made attractive by this addition, while the hunters camp would be minus its charm if without its fire. But the small flame, which I nursed with dry sticks and sat before, making out like I had a home when the big tabernacle duties were over, was not without its drawbacks. My lamplight and firelight together drew strange small denizens of the forest up from the shadows to investigate and form acquaintanceships. So one night a lizard manifested a desire to share my bed with me, to which I put in a most vigorous protest.

Another night a large spider, the size of a silver dollar, concluded to spin a web near my pillow; and on a third, when the entire camp was asleep and quiet and I was writing at my table past the hour of midnight, I suddenly raised my eyes and saw a large toad frog sitting on the rug in the middle of the tent, blinking his eyes and apparently studying me with great interest. He, with his preceding brethren, were evidently puzzled over the gleaming of my lamp and fire, and had come up to see "what meaneth this", and why the long-standing darkness of their forest should thus be disturbed and broken into with such a painful thing as light.

I took my lamp, sat it down right before the frog and turned the wick up higher, and he never budged.

He was flooded with light, but seemed to be blinded by it. That which was a blessing and comfort to me was a mystery and profound discomfort to him. The higher the flame, and stronger the radiance the more stupid and stolid was the toad.

It was only when we removed the light that he seemed relieved, jumped out of the tent and went hopping down the hill into the darkness.

He doubtless assembled his friends that night in a damp and musty hollow log and told them of his late sufferings in a tent where a preacher turned something called light on so strong that it was simply unendurable, both to the eyes and general feelings of any frog; that with the sun by day and lamps and fires by night, all frogs, bats and owls were bound to have a hard time, and would be unable to prowl around as of yore. That for his part he did not believe in light at all, and if it must be had, then let it be for only half the time and not interfere with the twelve hours of night, in which he desired to follow his nocturnal pursuits.

And all the frogs and toads and bats in his audience, and an old owl listening in a hollow tree said Amen.

Living Illustrations By B. Carradine

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