This is a learning tale for the kiddos
A Panther’s Father, a book that is selling in France, Belgium, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Netherlands, South Africa, Denmark, Morocco, Qatar, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, British Columbia, United Kingdom, Congo, United States, and who knows where else. Is fame something that interests you? Not me. I just enjoy writing something productive and positive for all of my readers. In 2020, I hope to devote my time to book signings all the time.
God Bless you, your family and my God give you the Grace that you seek in your life.
Welcome to an interesting tale known as King Frog from A Panther’s Father-the 1st book in A Panther’s Father Book Series by the living breathing James Brown, US Army Veteran, author. Youngsters, I am giving you a wonderful gift. Please use it this Holiday Season.
To aid the readers, the children tales are always italicized and the other printed words here in this section are of Granny Z, the 105-year-old storyteller, who tells these tales in A Panther’s Father Book Series. Her two live-in guests are two orphan children that also are here in this section. This is a tale I am sharing with you so that you can return to a fond memory that I have from my own past that I still remember with the greatest of fondness. (I hope you realize that I am breaking protocol with the Publisher by doing this for you-but you and your kids are just that important to me)
This is a time in my life when my grandparents were still alive and so were my great-grandparents. But what was this memory?
The telling of a children’s tale after the Thanksgiving Meal and the Christmas meal and during these days of family festivities. This was a wonderful time where bonding between the ages took place and once you do it, your kids will always remember you long after you have left this world like all of us are destined to do.
Anyhow, the oldest person or a parent or a grandparent would take the time to tell all the children lying all over the floor with blankets and quilts and pillows and a tale before our bedtime.
But these weren’t the ordinary sort of stories. They had real meaning. Lots of meaning.
I know that so many don’t have a clue how incredibly warm and loving our kid days were way back then.
We didn’t have cell phones. TV was still new and it got or had only a black and white screen getting only one or two channels. There was no cable TV. You might say that was the pits. I say this-it was pure heaven. It was a time that parents and grandparents bonded like no other time.
So, after all the football games and all the other holiday activities, maybe you will take the time to remember the little you’s and little him’s needing a special time that only you can give. Drop the video games. Later in their lives will they only remember you for-hey, we had some good times playing video games. Really?
If you want to be remembered, you have to have special times. And that special time is the telling of wonderful children stories that have meanings. And I promise you, King Frog is bursting with all kinds of meaningful things or metaphors. But are you smart enough to figure them out? It is like a maze and you will become the maze runner for sure.
Will you take the time to bring back this storytelling tradition in your home for this 2018 Holiday Season? And turn-off the TV and only have your cell phones ON to record your storytelling. Then who knows? Post it on YouTube.
Both of the 1st two books have many tales for you to choose from and are always told by Granny Z(except when the two orphan children TomBoy and Auntie tell them as well) and they are all italicized so that you will know where they are.
But make the tale your own and tell it your way. Read the following pages and you will have a great place to start from. Or, you can always read a little each night to the kids. God Bless!
And oh yes, I even share that Great Depression and WWII Potted Meat Dip Recipe that all of us poor folks were eating way back then and I even make it sometimes even today-it is good and it has a flavor that will grow on you and something fun to share during the holidays as a new treat. It’s great with Corn Chips.
Now, here is the tale King Frog found in Chapter Three and Chapter Eighteen in the 1st book, A Panther’s Father-
“Yes. I would like that Granny Z and thank you,” the teary-eyed girl now spoke. Then Granny Z knew that is was time and her audience was ready to hear another tale or start picking on each other. So, she started-
Been many a year ago that I ever told this story about the King Frog and the Scorpions. You all see there was this huge green pond beside a great mountain and there were great and tall trees, high and green emerald grasses, and there were two ponds that connected to each other.
But the funny thing was…well it really wasn’t funny…but the odd thing was that the ponds were surrounded by sharp cliffs on one side and a gentle hill on the other side. But the thing was the two ponds were connected by a single lane of water under a tree that was like a tree bridge. Now the only way for the frogs to get from one pond to the other was under the tree bridge. But the water was shallow there and it was so shallow that huge scorpions hide under rocks on the side and waited to catch a frog trying to get to the other side.
Now these scorpions were mean and all they wanted to do was hurt the frogs and sometimes kill them with their venom is their tales. You see, Scorpions got these two claws up front like a crab or a lobster and a long tale that’s like dark water drops sitting on top of each other and at the end is this long stinger. So, the Scorpion grabs his prey with his claws and then he hits them with that long sharp stinger and then it injects poison into whatever is caught in those claws.
Well, now the young frogs did not always know this and the scorpions were always whistling and makes friendly calls out to them as they came close to look from one side of the pond to the other pond.
But in the middle of one pond was a huge and oldest frog of them all and he was called King Frog. And whenever he wanted to, he would just jump from one pond over the Scorpions and under the tree bridge. It was something to see and the wise old frog always made the Scorpions angry every time he did this.
The King Frog was dark green with red, black, white, yellow, and green stripes along his back. He was simply one of the most handsome frogs ever. And all the younger frogs loved getting close to him and talking with him. King Frog was a sight to see. Sometimes, he would lay on his back and for over an hour in the middle of the pond. To a lot of the other frogs, he seemed incredibly cool but the elder frogs and King Frog in the middle of the huge pond knew that he could not hear anyone talking with his ears under the water. Then finally he would turn back over and would swim around looking for anything to eat. And he ate everything. He ate minnows, smaller frogs but he waited until it was late at night and very dark when he ate the younger frogs so the others would never know what had happened to them. He even ate young small birds and small snakes.
“I am King Frog, the largest frog of the two ponds and lived here for over two decades. I fear nothing and nothing bothers me!”
“Indeed, you are very big, very powerful and I have listened to your bragging every morning for over two decades,” said the largest and darkest Scorpion of all the Scorpions. This Scorpion was almost three times the size of all the other Scorpions. “Do you fear my sting?” asked the large Scorpion named Scar for the scar across his back that had been put there by a water moccasin many years ago.
“No I do not fear your sting,” said King Frog.
“If you do not fear my sting, then let me visit closer with you and together we will talk many things but there are secret things that only I can whisper into your ears so no one else can hear,” said Scar.
“Secrets of the pond? What kind of secrets do you know Scar?” asked King Frog. “Indeed, even King Frog would want to know the secrets of the two ponds, very important secrets of the ponds that only you and I should ever know.”
“” Indeed, I have been here for a very, very long time and no one has ever offered to tell me any secrets. Yes, I do need to know the secrets of the two ponds,” said the huge frog swimming closer to the area under the large tree bridge where the Scorpions lived. “Then come closer and I will whisper the secrets only for the ears of King Frog.”
“You must be confusing me with someone stupid and dumb. I have watched you
Scorpions for many years and I have watched you lure your victims close to you, so close that each of you can sting them and then they are no more.” said King Frog.
“That’s not true. None of us would dare sting you as you are too big and the venom from all our stingers would never harm King Frog. You are too big and you are truly too smart for our trickery.” said Scar.
“Ha, Ha, Ha. You must indeed think that I am a fool. And here are no secrets that are so great that I must risk losing my life to hear,” said King Frog.
“Then answer me this King Frog. Why is the sky blue? Why can you see everything about the pond and in the pond’s water but not under the water?” asked Scar. “You must see that these are only two of the many secrets that I have learned and now offer to share with you King Frog,” said Scar now smiling as all the other scorpions were now smiling too.
“It has always been that way,” said King Frog.
“That is not a good answer King Frog and I thought that you knew such little things,” said Scar.
Soon, King Frog was now beginning to become puzzled by the questions that Scar posed upon him. Is there something truly mysterious about the two ponds that he needs to know and now, he finds that he does not know the answers to the questions that Scar has asked him. He then swam even closer to the Scorpions.
“Again, I offer only you the secrets of the two ponds if you just come closer to me. I can then whisper them into your ears and soon you will be the greatest frog of all because you will know the secrets,” said Scar.
Then as King Frog was slowly swimming in the pond, he started to ponder the need to learn such secrets that Scar offered to share with him. But King Frog also quickly thought back to all the tricks he had witnessed Scar use and lure younger frogs close to them and all the Scorpions would run out and sting them. And as he swam all over the pond, Scar whispered to all the other Scorpions.
“King Frog is old but wise in his days but the days of King Frog are close to being over. As you see, he is thinking about coming close enough for me to whisper into his ears and as soon as he starts listening, I will sting him and then all of you come out and sting him as well and then we will control the two ponds for ourselves. This will be the last day for that King Frog or should I say-King Rat” said Scar. All the other Scorpions quickly agreed and eagerly waited for King Frog.
But soon, the light of the day vanished and all the frogs started their nightly croaking and the Scorpions became quiet as they did every night. Soon, the loudest croaking and the deepest croaking came alive and everyone knew that it was King Frog’s croaking. “Oh no, not again, that horrible croaking and that horribly loud croaking of that huge old frog. His croaking vibrates our entire bodies and it is a painful thing,” whispered Scar. We must get rid of King Frog. We have no choice.” said Scar to all the Scorpions.
The croaking went on for many hours and the croaking attracted someone that did not live at the pond and suddenly a loud flapping noise was heard by everyone and the croaking stopped. The flapping noised quit and it stopped on top of the tree bridge. For some reason, all the frogs knew that a great and powerful predator had landed somewhere close. But the Scorpions did not understand what this noise was or what had made it.
“Who’s up there?” asked Scar.
“Well, who is down there?” asked the visitor to the two ponds.
Quickly, the large black shiny thing flapped his wings and soon was under the tree bridge facing his questioner the huge scorpion.
“Stanks the Crow I am and here I stand. Who are you?” asked Stanks.
Suddenly there was an immediate hush in the crowd of kids. Each had never heard a Stanks the Crow tale and everyone knew that Granny Z had told that even they were too young to learn of the horrible evil that Stanks was. The eyes of the children soon grew wider as not only did they look at Granny Z but they quickly glanced among themselves to determine if they had just heard their mother or grandmother call them. They all would bolt out of the blind alley if just one of them jumped up. But no one moved but there was alarm in their faces now because the adults in their lives had warned them of the evil of Stanks the Crow. Granny Z saw the crowd now starting to squirm and their little bodies began to twist just a little and she chuckled to herself but did not change the expression on her face and the began again.
“I am the largest and oldest scorpion named Scar,” said the large scorpion as he and all the other Scorpions watched the large bird. Then Stanks started crowing and laughing so loud that it gave alarm to the entire two ponds and all the residents. Stanks continued laughing for a good ten minutes. Finally, he stopped.
“What’s so funny about what I said?” asked Scar.
“Now let me see, a scorpion living under a tree that separates two ponds,” said Stanks the Crow.
“There’s not just one, but many scorpions down here,” cried out Scar.
“Oh well now, my, oh, my. Yes, there are many of you and only one of me,” said Stanks. Then Stanks quickly began devouring all the scorpions because he loved to eat Scorpions but Scorpions were usually too hard to find because they were usually hidden under large flat rocks. But these Scorpions had lived under the tree bridge where there were no rocks. Then, Stanks flopped backwards on the ground on his back. And he started to rub his now full belly with the greatest smile a Crow could ever make. Then Stanks looked at the old large scorpion that now had many young scorpion babies on his back and he was in a fighting position with his mighty tail and stinger high in the air. His long arms with the large claws open ready to grab Stanks was frozen there watching the big Crow.
“My oh my me, If I wasn’t so full, I’d eat all of you too and especially you Scar,” Stanks said as he laughed.
“It’s a good thing that you are full because with my stinger, I would stop even a huge Crow like yourself,” said Scar.
This suddenly and very quickly gave Stanks a very evil idea and Stanks soon began thinking about his evil idea. Finally, he had found a scorpion, the biggest he had ever seen who wasn’t afraid of him and that made Stanks very happy.
“Scar, I am Stanks the Crow, a Crow that many fear but I am also friend to anyone who helps me in my special plans and I have just thought of a very important plan just for you Scar and those baby Scorpions on your back. But now if you decide to help me, then I promise I will not eat you or your Scorpions. I will even take you to a place where not another Crow can ever eat any of you ever again.”
“Where is this place? And how can I trust you?” asked Scar.
“Because I still can eat all of you quickly on another night and you know that is true and I now know where you live which is a very bad thing for all of you, is it not?” asked Stanks.
Scar thought but knew what the Crow now said was very true and now a dangerous thing for all the Scorpions because he had seen how easily and how quickly Stanks had filled his belly with so many Scorpions.
“Ok, now we are very few and have no reason for staying here. In a matter of minutes, you have come and devoured many generations of Scorpions, friends and family members were just quickly now taken away and now in your belly. We have no choice but to accept your offer, “said Scar.
Smiling, and with a quick bounce, Stanks was back on his on his feet but now smiling with deep sinister eyes looking right at Scar and slowly and very darkly said-
“Yes, yes Scar, you have made the right choice. Now follow me and after this night, I will never ever eat another scorpion and I will take you to a safe place where no one will hurt you ever again and you will be very busy helping me,” said Stanks. Slowly, Stanks the Crow now began walking as best he could on the ground and started up a slow slope on one side of the pond’s side. Soon, the old Scorpion carrying the last of his family on his back began following behind the Crow.
“That’s it, follow me and you will soon be at your new home and you will soon be busy Scar,” laughed Stanks.
As the two walked, the night slowly passed and soon back at the two ponds the loud croaking was starting up again. Scar could hear them and then he was suddenly happy because as they walked, the sound of the croaking became lower and lower to almost a whisper and then finally, nothing was heard. Nothing was heard. The two were now so far away from the two ponds that Scar could not hear the frogs at all.
Soon Scar had followed Stanks into a huge, very large field and it was the largest around. But in the field, were flat rocks everywhere and then Stanks said-
“This is your new home. Here you will live and here I will no longer bother any of your family. Now I must leave you.”
Then in just a few flaps of his wings, Stanks was up in the air and nowhere to be seen.
“Ok, everyone off my back and go find a flat rock to go make your new homes, “said Scar and soon Scar went and picked out the largest one for himself. All in the field there were strange plants 6-8 inches in height and in rows and rows. These rows were in perfect lines and each plant was perfectly spaced from each other. Scar saw this but had no idea where he was or what this place was but he knew that Stanks could not move the huge flat rock he now was under and then Scar fell asleep as did all the other Scorpions. Then Granny Z stopped and watched a small girl walk up to her and give her a still cold Grape Soda Water. This was a blessing and Granny Z took nothing for granted. But the sight of the soda also quickly reminded her of her own son’s best friend and that friend telling her son about a tale involving Grape Soda Water and she thought to herself Ricky (Granny Z’s son), I want you to know that some places they call sodas “pop” and some places by their name and where I was raised, my grandparents who didn’t have but a second and third grade education would always call this grape canned drink, a “Grape Soda Water”. Anyhow, once a friend stopped in the country at a store. He then was about to go into this store to get both of his fiancée and him a drink. But before he got out of the car, he asked this wonderfully beautiful woman if she wanted a Grape Soda Water and the woman suddenly was shocked and said-what did you just call that drink? He quickly replied a Grape Soda Water and then the woman burst into tears and began crying and crying. But why cry over a soda? What’s wrong? He asked her repeatedly. And then still crying, she said I now know what social-economic background you come from and there is no way I can be together with you anymore. The marriage is off. And the two had been together already for many years. But love did not conquer in the end because she stayed with him that day until he dropped her off from his car and their relationship was no more. He even promised never ever to call the drink he loved the most a Grape Soda Water. But because she was scared to think what her mom or grandmother would think or her friends would think about the man’s social economic background talk that she dumped him like a lead brick. It was a funny story but Granny Z also knew that what and how a person says something can keep them stuck frozen like in a picture in time by the person listening to them if they so feel that way. But she knew that many people were so closed-minded and not able to get beyond what little they knew which was very little when you thought about all the knowledge there is in the world. Judging someone is a funny thing at times.
Then Granny Z took the drink and gave the girl a long and warm huge “thank you so very much” and opened it. She then handed the drink back to her so that she could get the first drink and then the girl gave the soda back and then Granny Z gave the drink to the homeless girl who quickly drank nearly the entire can but saved a small swallow of soda for Granny Z.
“That’s from my mother,” said the little girl. Then Granny Z said “what’s yawl waiting for? If you got a drink, open it and get to sharing it,” saying as she laughed. And soon everyone had their drinks out of their pants, coats, and lunch bags. Then everyone started drinking and sharing the drinks and soon everyone was smiling again and had almost completely forgotten about the tale that they were listening about.
As everyone was doing the things that little kids do, Granny Z looked at each child trying to mentally put one child with a parent that had also been one of the ones that had also listened to her tales. She could visualize the parent of almost all of them. Then when she couldn’t figure out who the parent was she would say “Child what’s your name? And who’s your mom?” she would ask.
The children would tell her what their name was and then who was their mother or grandmother whomever they were living with. Every day, Granny Z would take the time to ask everyone what their name was and she made all the children tell everyone something about themselves because Granny Z wanted everyone to share with each other and not be put out with each other.
Suddenly, a police car and an ambulance went down the street with their loud sirens blasting out the noise of warning to everyone and to let everyone know to get out of their way and that this was an emergency. Then all the children ran and hid behind something or anything, even another child. Now, Granny Z always found this behavior odd but she had seen it many times before. She thought to herself about why the children now hid for the sounds. Were they afraid of a haunting event in their lives, something that they had seen in front of them or on the TV, were they empathizing with that event? Or was social media part to blame as Granny Z had heard many things and always saw old people on the streets holding onto their cell phones almost walking into the middle of the streets at times not paying no mind to where they were or what the rest of the world was doing. But in New York City, everyone saw a little about everything too and there was hidden and known dangers there for everyone.
One time she asked the kids what they liked most about New York City and they told her that there was always something to do and places to go. And when she asked what they didn’t like they said it was the rats running around at night and how dirty it was. It wasn’t dirty to speak but everyone put their trash out on the streets and that was what they meant like in trash cans and such.
Soon the police car and ambulance were gone and she said- “It’s alright, they’re gone.”
“Granny Z, why did Stanks the Crow take those Scorpions and Scar the biggest one into that field? Why did he take the time to help them when he had eaten almost all of them” asked a young boy?
“Jake, isn’t it Jake? Aren’t you Myra’s boy?” she asked.
“Yes, ma’am I’m Jake,” he said.
“What do you think is the meaning of the reason?” asked Granny Z.
“Why it doesn’t make any sense to me. The scorpions were obviously going to kill King Frog and now all of them were gone,” said Jake.
“You remember yesterday when I told all of you that none of you was old enough or ready enough to ever hear no Stanks the Crow story? You were here but do you remember that?” asked Granny Z.
“Yes, I do remember you saying that but I don’t understand still,” said Jake. “Now, what evil plan did Stanks set in motion by moving Scar the oldest and biggest Scorpion into that field where all the plants were in rows and rows?” asked Granny Z. “And did King Frog ever learn the secrets of the two ponds?” asked a young girl from PS11(Public School Number 11).
“And how many frogs were left in the two ponds?” asked another girl.
Granny Z was now smiling as the questions began to fly and all the children started talking together. Some kids gave their own reasons of why the tale was told the way it was told. Others offered one question after another. Each child listened to different answers because everyone wanted to have all the answers ready for the questions that their parents were going to ask them. Some of the children were already practicing retelling the tale of the two ponds and each wanted their tale to be the best one retold.
“What happened to King Frog?” asked an older girl.
King Frog was now very unhappy about the two ponds. He no longer could learn the secrets that Scar offered to tell him. Even at the possibility of losing his own life, King Frog now wished he had taken the time to listen to the secrets. From that day on, he never ever ate another frog or snake. And every day, he would swim around one pond and then jump into the other pond and swim around there always looking for any sign of Scar. And for the rest of his days in those two ponds, he was sad and each day he became even more sad. But one day, that would change and I will tell that on another day. But not today.
“Why were the scorpions led into the field and shown rocks to live under?” asked a little girl with her face showing all the curious expressions of a curious child.
“Pure evil child, pure evil. He moved them there for pure evil,” said Granny Z. “But if I don’t know the answer, my mom already done told me that I was going to get a butt whooping because she thinking I’m not listening,” said another girl.
“When each of you get to where each of you need to be going, you will find the answers you seek. Now it’s time to say goodbye for another day,” said Granny Z. Then Granny Z slowly got up as her legs had almost completely fallen asleep and it took so very long to get the circulation back into them. She knew that the kids would now scour all over the city talking to the ones that they thought were the smartest and brightest and repeat the tale and ask one person after another what the tale meant and then head home. Again, Granny Z had planted into these young minds a great many things because from one tale, the tale was about to grow and grow and grow and no one would ever really know how big the story would get. But it all depended on the one that would take that tale and carry and plant it in the very stars above New York City.
Finally, Granny Z and the young homeless girl names Marta left and went back to her apartment but not without stopping and picking up a few items from a vendor here and there along the way. Deep inside, Granny Z had many intentions by repeating her tales but she always and only wanted the very best for every one of these children. She always was never thinking about herself but the kids. Her caring and loving heart cared so dearly for all the children. For her, the children were always at the top of her love and concern. Granny Z was a very good person.
This blustery day was the first day of November and Granny Z could feel the cold beginning to work on her old bones. The wind howled along the window frame and she could feel the cold trying to come in. She thought about being 105 years old and why was she allowed to live such a long and have such a full life. She loved her life, the children, and her family. Her now famous tales were growing and kept growing and were being retold all over the world. She didn’t even know that these contagious tales were reaching so many people of all walks of life. So many had completely lost all contact with the past and these tales were from that past that so many yearned for in the latter days of their life. Here finally was something a person could hold onto. They were from a very vivid and very real past. And they were never taken from anyone. Instead, too many just forgot how to tell their own children the tales that should have become automatic like so many repeating themes in life and working two or three jobs in a single parent home is a very hard row to hoe by that one-person provider. But there are those that don’t have a clue and those individuals heap and heap as much manure on their shoulders as humanly possible. They really do. And they always blame them for their position in that life of many struggles. But no one can steal love. They can try, but they will not succeed. And to take away or even talk about taking away personal tax exemptions is as wrong as it gets for these hurting parents.
But for most folks, they have totally lost the art of telling a single tale and a church ain’t where a person gonna find these tales. Just sitting around and trying to tell everyone anything is something that no one does anymore. Another reason for the successful kidnaping of so many young minds away from the family with video games and viral, crazy stuff found only on the Internet. And if it’s on the Internet, it’s got to be true. Right? Not hardly. Everything, everyone, and every place has its own purpose and Granny Z had hers.
The children were her main concern and her heart was so full of love that it could always be seen as she told the tales but she also wanted everyone to know that the tales she told had many meanings and that one day, a simple tale a child might have heard might give them a moment of thought because its meaning might be of some form of help to them. And the more something is repeated, the more it is learned. And the more valuable it becomes to a child.
But she didn’t worry much about that kind of stuff. But she had a secret love of spam and potted meat and occasionally, she would make herself and now Auntie and TomBoy a potted meat dip that they ate with corn chips and this is the recipe she used-
Potted Meat Dip
6 cans of 3 oz. Potted Meat.
1/4 dices up onion.
One medium bowl of Sour Cream.
3/4 cup of Sweet Pickle Relish.
Mix it up with a large spoon until good and mixed and let it chill in a refrigerator for about three hours or overnight is best. Then one large bag of corn chips and eat it like any other dip. But some call this poor folk dip and it was also called a WWII treat back here in the States while them soldier boys were at war and fighting and many items became very scarce and so hard to find. Using those war bond books but that’s something that most folks done already forgot about. So, when a country is in an all-out War, the people back home must make sacrifices too and food is one of them. It’s just part of doing what’s best so everyone can have something even if it’s very little of that something. Many amazing foods were created during WWI, WWII, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. But many other dishes would be created during other future Wars that were still yet to come.
Now every time, Granny Z made that dip, the three of them would have it completely eaten in about thirty minutes or less. Then it would be gone but three people would be very happy and content, so very content. And on that first morning of November, Granny Z had made the dip the night before and it was now going to be breakfast just as pizza is for so many that don’t have the time to make any food. Soon all three were now eating dip with corn chips and drinking a glass of fresh milk. Then Granny Z had already said a quick prayer for the three and then she said-
“You know, there are things that folks won’t eat later in their lives because it brings back hard times that they had. But if you got food to eat, the three of us know that times ain’t that hard, now don’t we? Going to bed with no food in our bellies, now that is hard times and eating and sleeping on the street, now that’s hard times. Auntie, when you were living out there on the streets, what did you eat? Where did you sleep?”
Auntie had never ever been asked about what it was like living on the streets and then she slowly began to talk-
“Granny Z, when my mother started using some kind of strange drug that made her use a knife cutting on her arms saying that she was trying to get the worms out of her, they took her away and then one day when she didn’t come back home, I had nowhere to go and no one left to help me. I even asked some near us and they wouldn’t say nothing because they thought I was a drug user too and just slammed the door in my face every time. My mother’s whorish druggy reputation was all that they saw even in me as well. There’s not as much help out there as folks think and when you a kid, there ain’t none but there are always sick ones that want to do bad things to you and I would always run away when they tried to touch me in my private places.”
“I had no idea,” said TomBoy.
“When I first got out there, I had a hard time. I climbed into trash dumpsters and I had to fight rats for any food I found. Sometimes those stinking, filthy rats found the food first and then I would take it away from them. I hated those rats because if they got close enough to your hand when your hand had food in it, they would bite you. Here, look, here’s where one bit me and I still have the scar from that one,” said Auntie as she showed a scar on her right hand. A scar from a rat bite.
“There was a woman who had a really good heart and once a week, she would walk around with a large bag of food and she would give all of us homeless a sandwich and a bottle of juice. She was an angel, I mean a real Angel. Her name was Jennifer and she did that while her two little boys were down with her doing the same thing. Now how many times does a person see that kind of human compassion? Well, I promise all of you that it is so very rare. But they did it and God bless them. Their names were Noah and Nathan and sometimes, they would be the ones who would give us a sandwich and a bottle of juice. Now, that woman, I still don’t completely know why she was really living compassion for her fellow man. I mean she was living it. Not a talker, but a doer. You know children, don’t let no one talk to you about helping the poor either cause you gonna make them mad. They get mad cause they are having a heck of a time making it themselves. Everyone knows what the right thing is and no one wants to do it except the very, so very few.
Not just talking it or donating money to organizations where the head people make over millions of dollars each year and travel on exotic and expensive trips all the time. I mean this woman and her kids were the real deal and I was always so happy to see them. It was always a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and I wanted to ask her to take me home too but I never ever got enough nerve up to ask. I didn’t want my problem to become someone else’s problem too.”
“God, I had no idea you went through that kind of stuff,” said TomBoy.
“But heaping as much trash on yourself as you can so that you stay warm was sometimes the worst of it all because the deeper you dug into the dumpster, the more rats there would be there. And then one time as I was trying to dig down deep into a dumpster, I found an 87-year-old woman that was there shaking with the cold. She told me that it was ok and that if we held each other, we’d be ok till morning and that’s what we did. You know that woman, I don’t how in the world she made it in there. She had to climb up and over into it. But that’s how much she wanted to live. She wanted to simply live and leave this world when it was her time. But she wasn’t asking anyone for nothing. She said that folks will help you for just so long until they satisfy a need in them to help and when it gets full, they just quit helping. She decided to help teach me the homeless life and that life on the streets in New York City and she did.”
“That is a sad time. What did she teach you?”
“She introduced me to other homeless that always helped each other and they shared their food and gave each other solid clues where stuff was happening like food and clothes giveaways and where free health checks and doctors and nurses would be and when. Even some doctors and nurses took the time to remember that there was another group or class of people that never begged, never cried out, and just went about every single day just trying to find enough food for that day and that is the homeless and they ain’t any kind of lazy either. You know, there are some that go for up to five days without finding any food. These homeless are Veterans, Truck Divers, School Teachers, Policemen, and they come from every walk of life and they just changed their route in life for one reason or another. One cop had killed a young boy who he thought had a gun and he was only trying to get his pen out to write his name on a piece of paper for the Officer to read. God, that man was the worst of the homeless cause he was suffering and I know that family was too. His family didn’t even know where he was. But I heard most people who forfeit someone has a total breakdown usually. They were all in a horrible, so horrible pain that never ever leaves. But ain’t no excuse for doing it wrong. Wrong is wrong.
The homeless even told me where there was safe water to drink and where there were shanty villages put up at night and moved before daylight. Also, where a person could slip in and get a quick shower. It’s a very amazing world out there and you wouldn’t believe what people will do to live. But the ones on drugs, you had to stay away from them because if they could use you somehow, they would kidnap you and sell you out to the horrible whorish world of child perversions and even worse things than that. There were organ thieves and all kind of evil people out there but there are many more good people than evil. Just because one is evil, you can’t lump everyone into the same evil group and people are not apples that when one becomes rotten you throw out the whole group. But there are ones that always do that kind of thinking.”
“Auntie, I am so happy that you are now with me and I am so happy to have you too TomBoy living with me. You would be surprised how many quit seeing a person when they put a label on them like even ‘old folks’ in their minds. People are even afraid of catching ‘old folks’ diseases. Some will even say we just stink too much for them to come and visit. Maybe, we don’t know we got an old person smell. Maybe we don’t know our homes got an old folks smell. But we aren’t crying out to anyone for sure. Old people are a proud people and so are so many others.
Some automatically think that all of us are evil or want or need something. What they don’t understand is that they need to be remembering that we helped them get to where they are and just cause we old, we ain’t through with life until life is through with us. Now some will die in the hospital and when they come back from that forfeit experience they need to be understanding that God gave them a second chance to do something good in their lives, well, they better get to getting it done,” said Granny Z as she started laughing.
Then TomBoy looked out the window and then said-
“There’s a good crowd showing up today Granny Z. Seems like we need to be a getting there for another one of your tales, Old Woman,” said TomBoy as he was laughing out loud and then Granny Z threw a pillow at him and all three were then laughing but then they started on another trip to the place of tales, the place of Granny Z’s story telling. And as they went down, Auntie asked Granny Z how did she decide on which tale to tell on that day. Then Granny Z said-
“One of the most important things is the weather. The weather can dictate how long of a tale that is told and when it is cold, it is time to tell a shorter tale because I don’t want any of the children to get chilled to the bone. That’s when they can really get sick and that’s one of the things I keep an eye out for in the winter months and if it starts to get wet. Getting soaked with rain or a light mist can also make a person chill to the bone. I remember that a young soldier once told me that he was in South Korea and it got 52 degrees below zero and that when it gets that cold, it will make cracks on your face and then those cracks might open almost a half inch and look black and blue until they heal. But he said it was very, so very painful. Soldiers really do a great amount for all of us and so many of us fear them because we only see horrible war movies. Well, a real live soldier ain’t no walking, talking movie. He is alive and he wants to live like everyone does.”
“Wow, that does sound very painful,” said Auntie with a facial expression of sadness on it now. Then the three were in their usual positions in the alley and Granny Z took a long look at everyone and asked how they were doing and how they mothers were doing and their fathers were doing. Granny Z always asked about the parents separately because she knew that many of them had only one parent at home and she wanted the child to identify which one was at home. And they always did by simple words that they said about each. Then Granny Z began to tell today’s tale-
When I last told each of you the tale of King Frog, I may have told you that King Frog never ever left the two ponds that he swam in but that’s not entirely true. And this is what really happened.
When Stanks the Crow lured all the remaining Scorpions from the ponds, King Frog was very upset that he would never learn what the huge black Scorpion called Scar promised to tell him. It was something that the Scorpion said that only a King Frog needed and should know and not knowing what this was really started to make King Frog upset. It was really starting to dig at his britches, sort to speak. And then he finally told all the other frogs that he needed volunteers to go on a dangerous mission for him. At first, there were no takers as all the young frogs did not trust King Frog and he always ate young frogs whenever he wanted to but then King Frog said that if he didn’t get any volunteers that he was going to each ten frogs every day until there were no longer any other frogs in the pond. Now of course, this was not true but for the young frogs, this scared them enough to volunteer for King Frog’s mission. So, all of them came up to King Frog all at once and asked him what it was that he wanted. And King Frog said this-
“Whoever can go and find the big black Scorpion, Scar, and bring that information to me will have my guarantee that he and his family will never ever be eaten by me and that they will have their choice of as many female frogs they wanted to marry for all time.”
The young frogs still did not believe King Frog because he always claimed all the female frogs for himself and this was strangely not the words of a true King Frog.
But then King Frog told the young frogs to pick a future wife, one that would be waiting for them when they returned. Now this did have an impact on all the young frogs. So, the young frogs did just that and then after a long time and a big discussion among themselves, the young frogs decided that they really had no choice but to go on this thing called a mission for King Frog. So, they all agreed to go on the mission and then King Frog told them-
“Good, your future wives and very good fortune will be waiting for anyone who goes and then comes back and tells me where Stanks the Crow lured the Scorpions off to.”
Then the young frogs knowing that they needed water started to make themselves water packs for their backs out of flowers and leaves which were all around the two ponds and they used the long grass to help hold the water pack on their backs. Their future young brides decided to help also and soon, the entire pond was busy with all the frogs helping each other except for King Frog who only swam around looking at each frog trying to decide which one was going to be his next meal. He said he wasn’t going to eat any younger frogs but he lied. He was an adult and that gives adult frogs complete permission to lie anytime they wanted to and they did.
Then as soon as the sun went down, the young frogs all said their goodbyes and then they were all off in the last direction they all had seen the Scorpions go. And the line was long and steady as each one left and then King Frog swam up and ate the last two before they could get out of the pond to the horror of all that watched.
“King Frog, you are a liar. You will not keep your word. Already you have eaten two of us that were going on your mission,” said one frog looking back at King Frog.
“I said the deal was good when you return with the news of what I asked, now you need to be going before the others leave you behind and I eat you too.”
The young frog did not hesitate and then quickly turned and left the pond on the same trail as all the other young male frogs were now following. And in no time, it was obvious that the need for water was going to be greater that anyone predicted it was going to be. But then after three hours and with their backpacks of water almost completely dry of its precious water, a small shower began and all the young frogs rejoiced a refilled their water packs again. Then in another three hours, the group of over 1200 young frogs were at the field where the Scorpions were hiding under the rocks in the field. Then one called out and at the same time, a very alert Stanks the Crow heard the calling. But Stanks did not fly at night but he knew that it was the calling from a young frog and Stanks always loved to eat young frog anytime he found one and he was now fully awake just waiting for sunrise so he could find that young frog calling out in the darkness.
“Mr. Scorpion, King Frog has sent all of us to find you. Where are you?” yelled several young frogs. They were now desperate because they were at the limit of their water packs and could go no farther. Then all the young frogs yelled together and this got the large black Scorpion’s attention and he came out from under his large rock.
“So, that large fat, so very fat King Frog that eats all of you has sent you here to find me. Well, you have found me. Now what is it that you want?” asked the Scorpion.
“King Frog still wants to know what you promised to tell him but you did not tell him,” said one of the frogs.
“So, King Frog still wants to know what I promised to tell him. Hmmm, that must be really bothering that big booty boy a great deal by now as how can he be a King and not know what I had promised to tell him?” asked the huge Scar as he began smiling just a little bit.
“Alright, now has he sent you to ask me what he does not know?”
“No, not at all, he wanted all of us to go on a mission just to find out where you lived and that is all.”
“Yes, and he promised us wives for our own if we brought back the news of where you live and that is all.”
Then the huge Scorpion smiled and laughed and told all the young frogs this-
“At the end of this row, there is a deep hole that holds water when it rains and there is plenty for each of you to refill your water packs. Now go there and fill your packs and return to King Frog and tell him where I am and that I here waiting for his arrival. Tell him to come quickly before I change my mind. Tell him that I, Scar, will still give him the knowledge he seeks that only a King Frog must know if he truly is a King of anything.”
So, the frogs hopped along the row until they found the water and jumped right into the small puddle and it was so refreshing for all of them and there was enough for all their backpacks. Soon all the young frogs had their backpacks filled and were hopping back along the row and there was the huge Scorpion waiting and watching them and he said-
“Hurry now, before the sun comes up and fulfill your mission for King Frog.”
And all the frogs hopped right by the big Scorpion and headed back to where the two ponds lay in the far away distance. But before this night was over, this night was going to be known as the trail of frogs that forfeited because they did not have enough water to make it back to the two ponds. That was all but ten of them and these ten would indeed make it back to the pond and then they jumped back into the pond as soon as they got there. Suddenly, King Frog and all the other frogs quit their night croaking. Then King Frog quickly came up to them and asked them what they had found-
“Did you find where the large Scorpion had gone to?” asked King Frog as he was now more eager to find out now than ever before. He was almost giddy with excitement. This was the information that he needed to finally and once and for all find out what the knowledge was that the big Scorpion had promised him.
“Did you find where the large Scorpion had gone to?” yelled King Frog.
“Before we tell you, how do we know that you will not eat us and not give us the wives we have chosen for ourselves. After all, you ate some that were coming with us before they left the pong.”
“That is true, I cannot deny what I did was against what I was talking about but you see, my instincts of needing something to eat just was too great and I always wanted fresh young frog with a water pack on their backs to eat. The need was just too overwhelming and I was just a little bit curious how the two together would taste. You see, when you get as big as me, you need a lot of young frog calories. You do see, don’t you”
“I am not sure what I see or understand. You eat us all the time and I still don’t believe that you will not eat us now after we tell you where to find the huge Scorpion that told us that he still is waiting to tell you the knowledge that only a King Frog needs to know.”
“Oh, he did, did he?” asked King Frog as he began to slowly rub his chin.
“Hmmmm, I wonder what that knowledge is. Did he not tell any of you what it was? Did he?” asked King Frog and then King Frog grabbed one of the young frogs.
“Now, you tell me and be quick or I will eat you. Where is the Scorpion?”
“I won’t tell you anything until you guarantee that you will not eat any of us,” said the frog in King Frog’s arms.
“If you won’t another one will after I eat you.”
“No, that’s not the deal. We have brought you back the information of where the big Scorpion has gone. We completed your mission and we will give you that information as soon as we have your promise that you will not eat us and that this is not another one of your lies,” said another young frog.
“Ok, alright, alright, alright, alright, alright. I promise I won’t eat any of you,” said King Frog and he then let the young frog in his arms go free.
“There, are all of you now happy. Now, what is the way to where the old Scorpion lives and how do I get there?” asked King Frog.
“It’s not going to be that easy. We have a trust problem with you. You say one thing and do another. You want us to believe you yet you give us no reason to believe you. So how can we now trust you?” asked one of the young frogs.
“But here I am. King Frog, King of the two ponds and I now give you my word. On my oath, I will not eat any of you.” said King Frog.
“Wait, we will have a discussion on how you can keep your word to all of us and then we will let you know how you can prove your word to all of us. Is that not fair?” asked another young frog. Then all the other frogs in the pond started calling King Frog a promise breaker and worse, a frog liar. There are no other more worse two words for a frog than to be called a frog liar and the entire pond was now chanting frog liar over and over and then King Frog went under water so his ears did not hear frog liar again.
So, all ten of the young frogs began discussing their problem of telling King Frog where the old and huge Scorpion was and then to be eaten by King Frog after they told him of that location. Well, they talked for a very, very long time and then the oldest and eldest female frog came up to the group and told them that she had an idea but that it would take the entire pond of frogs to make it work. Then she told all the frogs in the pond that all needed to help build King Frog a huge water pack for his journey to where the Scorpion lived.
Suddenly, all the frogs were building a huge water pack while King Frog stayed under the water sulking in his own actions of mistrust. Then near dark, King Frog decided it was time for him to get the answers he was seeking from the young frogs. He also planned to eat them anyways because he had no intention on keeping his word with them at all. Then he surfaced and all the frogs were now cheering to King Frog.
“Hail, Hail, Hail, Hail to King Frog, the King of the two ponds and the King that is not afraid to visit the old and huge Scorpion to learn the knowledge that only a King needs to be told. Hail, Hail, Hail to King Frog, the bravest of all frogs and we have all pitched in and made you the biggest water pack for your huge back for your trip to see the Scorpion and learn the sacred knowledge.” said the oldest female frog.
This was a surprise to King Frog who now was being lured into a game of life or forfeit by all the frogs of the pond and King Frog was so very vain. He loved a challenge and this one made him feel special. More special than he had ever felt and this was not going to go well for him at all. After all, he was now convinced more than ever that he might need to go and that he might be able to make the journey to the field where the big Scorpion lived. But he was about to chicken out when one of the young frogs said-
“King Frog, this journey will be easy for you because you are ten times our size and it will take you so many less jumps than it took us to be where the Scorpion lives. You can be there, get that scared knowledge and be back in no time. And if you change your mind, you can eat all of us when you get back.”
King Frog thought about what the young frog had said and then other frogs chimed in and told him that they would be happy to be eaten by King Frog if they lied to him. It was now dark again. All of this now made King Frog certain that he could make the journey and return and eat all ten of the young frogs when he got back. So, he moved over and all the frogs then put the big backpack of water on to the back of King Frog and then he jumped out of the pond.
“Very well, I will make this journey and bring back the sacred knowledge that only a King must know. Now tell me where I need to go and be quick,” said King Frog.
Then the young frogs told him all that he need do was follow all the bodies of the frogs that had become forfeit trying to make it back to the pond. And then they told him that there was a field and in the middle of that field was a huge rock and under that rock was the huge and very old Scar, the largest of all Scorpions. So, King Frog now knew where he needed to go and soon he turned and began making huge hops that only a huge, so very huge frog could make such as he.
For hours, King Frog hopped and hopped and soon all the water in his backpack was now gone. He was beginning to worry just a little bit but then he saw the huge field with a fresh crop of young plants growing in it. Along the way, he found 1100 forfeited young frogs. Stanks the Crow had eaten 90 of them. Now for short period of time, he pondered on stopping and eating a few more but this quest of learning the sacred knowledge was simply driving him mad as all get out.
Finally, his eyes locked on to the huge rock where the old, and huge Scorpion was now under. And he began hopping again and again and again until his huge frog body was beside the huge rock that was more the size of a boulder than a rock. Then he called out to the Scar-
“Scorpion, it is I, King Frog, here to learn the sacred knowledge that only you have to give. Now come out and tell me this sacred of all knowledge.”
Next, the Scorpion called out-
“Is that really you King Frog. The King of the two ponds? Have you really come all the way here to learn the sacred knowledge that I promised you?” asked the old Scorpion.
“Yes, I have made this journey and now come out and tell me what it is that I need to know. Tell me the knowledge. Come now and be quick as there is no more water in my backpack and I need it and I need it now. Then I must return to the two ponds.”
“Which do you need the most? Water or the knowledge?” asked Scar, the very old and biggest of all the Scorpions.
King Frog thought and thought and thought and thought.
“I do need water. Where is some so that I might fill my backpack for the journey back to the two ponds?”
“Ah yes, you do need water for the trip back to the two ponds and there is a puddle right down the row in this field where you are standing. Go fill your backpack and return and then I will tell you the knowledge you seek.”
So, King Frog hopped and hopped and hopped and hopped to the puddle but the water was all gone. The young frogs had told him of the puddle where they all had filled their backpacks with water but they did not say anything about the shower that had saved them and filled that puddle. They had taken all the water. They also did not tell King Frog that the puddle was now empty as all the young frogs had used all the water filling their backpacks. The young frogs were tricksters and schemers and they had dealt a devilish blow to the one who called himself King Frog.
Then King Frog hopped and hopped and hopped and hopped back to the big rock and now angry and madder that all the madness he could muster up he yelled-
“Come out now! Come Out! Show yourself you mean old Scorpion and tell me the sacred knowledge that you must tell me before I forfeit. Now without water, my life is forfeit. Those evil little frogs have tricked me into my own forfeit. How could I have been so stupid?”
Then a slow moving and huge Scar and one thousand nine hundred and sixty- five other Scorpions came out from under the boulder. Then King Frog began to shake at seeing so many Scorpions all at once. Then the Scorpion looked at King Frog.
“King Frog, do you not see the stinger on the end of my tail? Do you see how it gleams in the moonlight and do you not see how sharp it is and it is freshly sharpened just for this moment.”
Then King Frog started crying because he finally realized that there was no knowledge but that this huge Scorpion was only trying to trick him into coming close enough for him to strike him in his back but then the old Scorpion said-
“King Frog, after watching you devour one young Scorpion after another and watching you devour one young frog after another, I made it my own mission to make your life forfeit. But now I see that you are all alone and that you have nothing more for any of us to fear. It is you that has made your own life forfeit and now all the Scorpions will now go back under this rock and wait until you are no more. All of us will listen to your forfeit song and please make it a good one. So, go ahead and sing us your song.”
And the Scorpions did just that and went back under the huge boulder. King Frog was now all alone and when daylight came, Stanks the Crow flew down and began laughing at this huge but very dumb frog. Then in the burning sunlight, his life was slowly forfeited.
But back at the two ponds, a huge celebration was taking place as the worries of being eaten by a huge frog was now over. This entire tale of King Frog would now be told and retold for all times and it was a warning to all young frogs that there is always someone out to get them in the two ponds. Even while they slept, there was something waiting to come and get them. Even while they slept, there was something waiting and glowing in their little frog closets waiting to just jump out and take them away. It was a tale that was told and by the thousandth time it was told, the tale did not sound anything like the original and true beginning tale.
Wow, the tale, King Frog, is now over-now that wasn’t so difficult. Was it? And how can you make this tale come to life for your kids? Maybe a frog toy. A frog something so they will have it to cling onto. Tell it and record it and post it for your friends to see and hear. This way, a time stamp of your life’s giving moment will be etched into the framework of your own family history. I hope I have helped you. I really do.
God Bless you, your family and my God give you the Grace that you seek in your life.
Bye-the living breathing James Brown, US Army Veteran, author of A Panther’s Father Book Series.
You are Here-