B l u E    T o a D ' s   B l u E s

All the green toads were hurrying by, doing things that green toads do.
Blue Toad was in his lily pad chair by his mushroom table, munchin' french fries with mustard, and wondering what all the fuss could be about. The music in his headphones spilled out to the surrounding pond. He just couldn't help it. The opera was so beautiful. It always made his heart sing with joy.

Blue Toad always tried to be like the green frogs, even though he was blue. "Why couldn't I be green like everyone else" he mused? He always tried so hard, but he couldn't swim fast, he loved to read and listen to music and he didn't look at all like the other frogs.

Toad was a bit chunky, a bit short, had strange hiccups, and was sprinkled with yellow sun spots. His Mother used to call them frog-kissed freckles. And he liked to wear his yellow t-shirt that Loki the toucan had given him to help cover all the spots. Loki had found the shirt on a quiet beach during one of his travels and flew all the way back to the pond with the shirt in his beak to give it to ‘Toad’. Sadly every time Toad wore his treasured shirt all the green frogs laughed at him. Life was so embarrassing and unfair sometimes.

Blue Toad just couldn't  seem to fit in the frog social circles, and gawd how he hated flies, ( yukkkkkkk ). French fries were so much better! And he loved the tangy flavor the yellow mustard added.

But Blue Toad had a worse frog sin, he loved to think. Thinking always made his brain feel cool and stretchy. Many times he thought about other things, wondrous things... He wondered what was on the other side of the great pond, and why the sky was sooo blue, and why the sand was sparkly white. But then he would always drift to the thing that puzzled him most; why green toads didn't like him? And why, oh why couldn't he be green?

‘Toad’ spent most of his days thinking, and drawing, and writing. He wrote stories and rhymes about the other frogs, mostly to try to understand them (and himself ). Other days he would dream of going on an adventure across the great pond. He would lay on a warm flat rock for hours and think about all the stories he had heard and imagine exciting adventures. If only he could fly like Loki or his dragonfly friends. Matiea sometimes spent hours explaining all the rules of flying to 'Toad' and how the wind felt swhoosing past her sun warmed wings.

Loki had told him about beaches, the great blue oceans, how the water made big waves with white tips, and the giant fishes. He so wished he could see them himself. But for now he would just have to listen to the wonderful stories. Suddenly Blue Toad was very lonely and longed with all his heart to see his dear friend.

Blue Toad was so very miserable about being blue. Most days  he could distract himself but lately he had cried big, blue tears. Only his dreams at night brought him peace. It was there in the quietness he dreamed he was a green frog. But when he awoke from those dreams he always had a bad stomach ache and his head hurt. And always, when he awoke, he would still be blue!

Once he even tried to paint himself green, but as soon as he jumped into the water the green all washed away. Even Blue Toad thought this attempt a bit strange. But still he kept trying.

One morning, Blue Toad awoke with a start after a long, fuzzy dream. He couldn't quite remember what happened or what he was dreaming,  but he felt different, and he felt good! He had talked to the Queen of the Elves to the South. Queen Isapriael was very beautiful and wise. She told Blue Toad that one day he would understand everything and he would live in peace. He didn’t believe her but he promised to have faith and just believe in nature’s power to heal things.

After coming fully awake, a strange thing happened. Blue Toad realized for the first time in his frog life he felt total peace! His insides felt like the pond looked on a quiet morning, when all the other frogs were asleep... still and quiet and all silvery, perfect peace, no ripples. And now this strange tingling feeling that was beginning to build inside his heart  made him want to dance all over the pond. It filled his every pore and frog wrinkle.

He felt strong. He felt happy. He loved everyone! And then he realized he was singing an Italian opera to himself. Again he danced with delight on his little frog toes. "Yippee" he shouted. And then, it all came to him in a flash, flooding his mind and instantly making his universe orderly. He would never be a green frog and it was okay. In fact, it was wonderful!

"How amazing" he thought. He wasn't at all sad. In fact he was smiling.

With amazing clarity, Blue Toad realized he was in fact, " Blue Toad " as things had been ordained. He was, as he was meant to be. “What a wonderful concept he mused. " Oh thank goodness " he thought. And then he thought about other things and sighed deeply with relief.

Now he could eat his french fries with mustard, wear his yellow neon shirt and listen to his beautiful opera with a happy, happy heart. He realized he was special and unique. He must immediately send a message to Loki.

And someday, yes, someday for sure ...
Blue Toad would visit the other side of the great pond !

Joyce Burns