Sunday, May 24, 2009
"The Frog Girl and Vegetable Barley Soup"
One upon a time, a long time ago, there was a pretty young girl with long brown hair and green eyes. Her name was Allison. She had not always been a pretty young girl, at least, not at first. All of her life she had lived in the woods and marshes. She came from a family of frog people. That is, people who are frogs part of the time and people part of the time. She was orphaned as a tadpole when a great summer heat wave dried up almost all of the marsh.
She had been hidden by her frog parents in the wettest part of the bog and she alone survived that terrible summer. For five years she lived in the marsh as a frog. On her fifth birthday she woke up one morning and discovered that she had grown up to be part human as well.
She discovered that she could still swim as a human girl but she couldn't talk without making a shrieking sound, kind of like a frog scream. Ribbbarrrgh! She frightened off the flies and other things she liked to eat when she was a frog, so she never learned to speak except in frog sounds. She lived happily in the marsh changing back and forth between human and from until she had perfected the ability to be a frog one minute and a human girl the next. However, she still had a terrible speech defect. Ribbarrrgh!!
One spring it was especially wet and rainy. The marsh flooded so that Allison over reacted a bit splashing about in her girl form and she fell into an unusually deep bit of the marsh. A little old man passing by pulled her from the water and congratulated himself for having saved her. The little old man was mostly bald with a rim of silver hair pulled back in a band and his eyes were twinkling as he said,
"Well, you look like you could benefit from a cup of good vegetable barley soup, eh my girl?"
She nodded mutely. He bustled about making camp. He dished her up a cup of soup from his campfire and she drank it. Oddly enough there always seemed to be a tablespoon or so of soup swirling around in the bottom of the cup which she was trying to empty. She finally became so full that she fell fast asleep by the little old man's campfire, snoring gentle frog snores. "Ribbbggnzzz...ribbbggnzzz..."
When she woke up , the little old man told her that he was a retired magician. He told Allison that he had consulted his Book of Magic and had discovered that she was a very rare individual, a frog person. Naturally she perked up at this having never met anyone who knew anything about her people. She was just bursting with questions. She was also quite unable to make herself understood. She stammered frog ribbets, frog grumples and snatches of frog song but the magician only waited politely until she became quiet.
He said. "Let me tell you what little I know about frog people."
She sat patiently combing her hair and generally tidying up her person as the magician rambled on about her frog heritage. She did not learn much other than what she already knew. She could change into a frog whenever she wanted. She could change into a girl whenever she wanted. She could hear and understand human speech but she could only speak Froggish.
The Magician did impart the rather remarkable fact that she could remain a human girl if she consumed a bowl of vegetable barley soup each day. The Magician gave her his cup and told her she would never quite run out of soup if she used that cup. He also warned her to beware of strangers because sorcerers were always on the look out for magical creatures. She would be captured and sold as quick as a wink. He also advised her to plant a garden and make vegetable barley soup every day. She thanked him in Froggish and nodded thoughtfully. The Magician bade her farewell and prepared to leave. She looked wistfully after him and he turned and called back to her,
"Oh, I almost forgot, marry the man named Robert!" and he waved goodbye.
Allison planted a good-sized garden that spring. She planted potatoes, carrots, onions, celery, tomatoes, garlic, parsnip, parsley and barley. She tended her garden all summer long in between bouts of frog-to-girl and girl-to-frog. At the proper time she harvested her garden. She picked and dried onions, tomatoes and carrots, she cut barley and thrashed the grains from the stalks.
When she got human girl blisters on her hands from all the hard work, she would turn into a frog to soak her smaller frog blisters in the pond. She pulled garlic bulbs and hung them to dry, she pulled parsnips and buried them in piles of dried grasses. She turned potato hills and dug a root cellar where she put away all of her vegetables for the winter. She let the parsley grow in a pot so she could cut a few sprigs for reasoning from time to time. She knew where a salt lick was near the marsh so she gathered her salt and stored it in a hollow tree.
The harvest weather was especially hot and sticky so it was very nice to turn into a frog for a quick swim in the marsh. She was happy and often sang Froggish songs.
"Ribbarrgh! Ribbarrgh! R-r-r-r-rib-b-b-b-barggllll..!" she trilled.
She made her vegetable barley soup and served herself using the magician's cup and never quite ran out of soup even in the darkest depths of winter.
One day a woodsman came into the marsh to look for valuable things to sell at the market. He spied on Allison a she hopped into frog form to the edge of the water and blinked in surprise when she turned from a frog into a girl with long brown hair and green eyes.
Well! Thought the woodsman, a magic frog! I believe I can sell this little one to a sorcerer for a fortune in gold. He quickly grabbed her by the hair she shrieked froggishly and instantly turned into a frog. He dropped his hat down on top of her and captured her. He put her in a leather bag on his belt to carry her to town. She screamed every awful thing she should think of at him.
"You stinky skunk! You ugly bug! You smelly person!" It all sounded like "Ribbert! Ribbargh! Ribbargle!", to the woodsman.
He carried her all the way to town where he told a local sorcerer that he had found a magic frog to sell him.
"Oh show me..." drawled the sorcerer having seen his share of dubious magic creatures.
The woodsman opened the pouch and Allison blinked up at them both,
"Ribbett" she said.
"What else does the magic frog do?" inquired the sorcerer archly.
"I saw it change into a girl before my very eyes!" sputtered the red faced woodsman, "Lets put it in a room and leave it alone and see what happens!".
Allison was put in a room with nothing in it but a very high window and lots of cobwebs and spiders. They left her there for four days and checked each day to see if she had turned into a girl. But each day there she sat as a frog. However a few spiders went missing each day. By the end of four days the spiders were all gone. Allison had eaten very well and remained a frog. "Ribbburrrp!"
The sorcerer shook his head sadly and announced, "Time is up, the frog is still a frog. I will not pay anything for a spider eating frog!".
The woodsman was very disappointed and put Allison inside the leather pouch and took her out of the room. He went to the local pub for a drink. He ordered a very large ale and drank it down. Then he ordered a cask of ale and drank it down. Then he ordered a hogshead of ale and drank that right down. He got drunk on ale and fell asleep. After he fell asleep Allison hopped out of the leather bag. She hopped outside and changed back into a girl and ran back to the marsh lecturing herself about strangers and the dangers therein.
Time passed and one delightful summer day, a biologist came tramping through the woods and marsh near Allison's home. Which by now was quite comfortably furnished through her own efforts at human girl homemaking. The biologist was a fine fellow, well educated in the ways of the world. He specialized in biology but his favorite hobby was frog watching. He had heard the unmistakable sound of a mating female pond frog and wanted to observe the frog in his field notebook. Imagine his surprise when he met Allison singing the frog mating song!
Allison was startled to see the young man, remembered the woodsman and let slip a little froggish scream. She hurried inside the house undecided what to do. He knocked on the door and said, "Hello there! Come out I won't hurt you I just want to talk to you."
She thought a bit and decided that she would be hospitable. She cautiously opened the door and offered him a bowl of hot vegetable barley soup.
He took it, "For me? Vegetable barley, if I miss my guess, my favorite! Thank you, er, Miss..um Miss?"
She murmured her name softly, "Allison" but it sounded like Ribberta.
He misunderstood her completely and announced, "Ah that's Robert, Robert if you please".
Allison's heart leapt in recognition. He nodded thoughtfully and said, "Of course! You don't speak human speech?"
Allison shook her head brightly, no.
"Yet you understand me?" Again an affirmative nod.
"Ah, you are mute!" She shook her head no.
She trilled in Froggish, "I may as well confess, I understand your speech, but I speak only Frog." Robert heard only "Ribbarrgh, ribbargh, ribbargle".
The young man reintroduced himself and explained that he was a traveling biologist with a minor in communication. Allison sighed to herself and thought what a nice Froggish name, Robert.
She was about half-way in love with Robert. Robert was utterly charmed with her brown hair and green eyes and was about three-quarters in love with Allison.
After a few more moments of getting acquainted Robert decided to stay with Allison to compile a Froggish dictionary and to teach her to speak Human. Eventually they married themselves to each other in a simple Frog/Human ceremony with the general marsh population as witness.
Over the years he didn't mind if she forgot to eat a cup of vegetable barley soup once a day. She didn't mind that he sometimes forgot to leave his muddy shoes outside the door. He thought she was a fine cook and always ate plenty of vegetable barley soup himself, which never quite seemed to run out.
He admired her frog voice and even composed a Froggish opera, within which the duet they sang together was quite harmonically remarkable. Her human speech impediment never did quite clear up, but Robert always thought she had a charming Froggish accent. They lived quietly and happily ever after.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Have finally gotten over the coughing til I herniate part and have progressed to the sneezing till the head explodes part. Worked 4 half days in self defense just to get the minimum done so I could retire grateful that I would only have to start over the next day. Have been so out of it, that I didn't realize that Memorial Day is THIS MONDAY! , I must now decide whether to work or not. Gah, please pass the tissues. Cranky! CRANKY I tell you....
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Today is day two of "something" I refuse to call it flu as I have no temperature that I can perceive. However, I have other symptoms in abundance. As soon as I complete a bit of x-ray transcription, I'm outta here. Must find cough syrup. gahhhhhhh
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Here is a picture taken from approximately the same spot of the very large pretty yellow weedy thing. I noticed a couple of days ago that some unknown entity (Probably the City of Coquille because it was blocking the road) had removed the weed in its entirety and left a modest hole. You may also notice that that weed was obscuring the for sale sign for that rather nice looking old house across the street. I like it but it has OIL HEAT.
Tonight I watched "Happy Feet", the digital picture about a misfit born into the society of Emperor Penguins who sing but who do not dance. Mumble dances, he cannot sing. Ultimately he goes on a journey to try to figure out who is taking all the fish from their waters. He returns a hero after some strange adventures. The music and dancing were a joy to watch.
Friday, May 1, 2009
Just at the end of our block going south, these flowers have bloomed, it is a huge bush of some sort of weedy thing. I have no idea what it is exactly except that the owners of the house next to us where these weeds reside have not been present in some time and the place is for sale and the lawn has gone wild. At least the police stop by now and then to make sure vagrants haven't taken up squatting.
Today, I got my wash all done by 10:30 in the morning.
Hannah is sick and there is no one to transcribe can you come in?
Since I had planned on lunch with a co-worker I just went in a bit early and transcribed the x-ray reports, one history and physical and several progress notes. We went to lunch at the Coquille Broiler. I had the avocado hamburger. Nice!
Then I went home about 2 pm.
This is the nursing station, we are transferring two patients and we need to have the reports transcribed and faxed.
Okay. I went in and got the name of the patients and the physician had not dictated the reports yet. I could clearly see where I wasn't going to make it home any time soon. Fortunately by the time I got set up he had completed the dictation. I got that one done, trotted it down to the doctor who beamed happily and said
"Boy that was fast, you type faster than I do"
"Yeah but I don't type as fast as you talk".
He looked it over and thankfully he signed it and the nurses faxed the report to Riverbend in Eugene. The next one was another four pager to go to Bay Area Hospital. He looked over and made one correction and I faxed that. I got home about 6:30 pm. If the phone rings I will let it go to answering machine!