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Oyez, I call Frog Court into session,” rumbled Chief Justice Jeremiah, himself a very large bullfrog.
“Bailiff, read the opening Declaration.”
The impossibly tall Bailiff stood and began reading:
“In accordance with resolution of a civil suit involving a Reagan cabinet member and prescription drugs, The Department of Fish and Wildlife established Frog Court to protect native frogs in the Western United States.”
“Since then we’ve held Court in a surplus building left from WPA days, dubbed the Mystery House because of its so called, mystical properties. Because of this property’s unusual gravitational features, readers who cannot suspend disbelief may become dizzy, and are free to leave this text at any time.”
“The Court’s unusual features include the use of electromagnetic “translators” that can interpret grunts and chirps, through which creatures themselves can “testify” to the Court. Since these hearings often pit creatures from the top of the food chain, against creatures rated as “biomass,” the activities in these proceedings include some red tooth and claw, which may be triggering for readers more used to kitties with yarn.”
“The current proceeding is a preliminary assessment whether a Great Blue Heron has committed a Capital Crime against a native frog.”
“Thank you Bailiff. District Attorney Hamilton Berger, please call your first witness.”
“I call Red Woodman to the stand.”
Call me Red. Red Woodman. I’m the oldest webfoot on the Frog Police Force. Today I was supposed to retire. I wanted to take it easy all day. But then I could hear my cell phone buzz, over the howl of the ambulances on nearby City streets.
(Little did the Crypto Fascists know-
I was actually an Environmental activist with Extinction Rebellion, called RedWoodMan ! Ha.)
“Git over here now, Red,” said Ollie G, my chief homicide detective,” We got a 10-65 on 14 tadpoles
Ten years ago… I dug a 10 x 20 fish pond in my backyard one Saturday. My wife was gone all one day so I rented a backhoe and dug until she came home and stopped me from digging.
“Later I added three more ponds. I put lots of goldfish in one of the ponds, and just a few in a second pond, but kept two ponds fish-free so the native peeper frogs could mate and the tadpoles could mature without the fish eating them. The frogs colonized 3 of the 4 ponds. The Heron was free to eat goldfish out of any pond.”
“But after a few years, non native bullfrogs invaded. I removed some pond vegetation, and that made it much easier for the herons to dispatch the bullfrogs.” The Judges, who were all bullfrogs, frowned.
“This ecosystem now supports native frog habitat and provides the heron with easy fish and bullfrog pickings. The tadpoles even ate pears that fell into the pond, and the grown frogs munched on the fruit flies that sought out fallen pears.”
“Red,” district attorney Berger questioned,” In other words there are strict rules about who can eat whom out of which pond, correct?”
“And you saw Billy Heron eat a native chorus frog out of the Lily Pond, where there is a handshake agreement that the heron will eat fish from that pond, but not frogs.”
“You are excused. Next witness!”
Woodman walked behind the judges’ bench after he left the witness chair. He bent slightly and laughed as he passed behind Judge Jeremiah. District Attorney Berger watched, scowling.
“Red, what are you doing back there?”
Judge Jeremiah responded, holding up a paper bag. “Red’s a friends of mine, and he’s sharing some mighty fine wine.”
Berger bristled,”You have to give that back, that’s a bribe!”
-The Daily Bucket:
“Frog Court is no
longer in session.”
By Red Woodman and Angmar Barrow.
And they sailed away, for a year and a day,
To the land where the bong-tree grows;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.
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DEDICATED TO METEOR BLADES.”
*(Except From The Owl and the Pussy-Cat
Edward Lear – 1812-1888)