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U3A Writing: The Saviour

...She sighed to herself. It was no joke being a saviour at 12 years old, and having to solve the problems of the universe.

“Dear frogs and little green friends I will give some thought to your tribulations and try to find a solution, then I will contact you”...

Stella Leonard tells an engaging tale about Sarah Jane, the young saviour of the frogs.

There was joy in Frogland. Everyone heard that Terrance had narrowly escaped death. That evening the entire community hopped across the field to sing songs of thanksgiving to Sarah Jane, who had now become their official protector.

She was not aware of the adulation, and was constantly surprised to find small clusters of frogs sitting in the back garden, gazing at her with open admiration. Her home became the center of cultural activity for all frogs in the area. At sunset they would hop into her garden, ready to perform long jump, high jump, swimming in the lily pond and choir practice.

It seemed that word of mouth had traveled from frog to frog in the outlying districts, and even toads and lizards were making the journey to Mecca, Sarah Jane’s home, in search of healing.

Her mother and father were distraught. They could not even venture onto the stoep at night, because hundreds of little green creatures were lined up at the back door singing praises to their daughter.

There seemed to be no way out of the dilemma until a crisis occurred throughout the entire frog community. They hastened in fear to visit Sarah Jane, who by now had been elevated to patron saint of all frogs and waterborn creatures. Through their great affinity she had developed a psychic attunement to their needs and realized their lives were in danger.

It seemed a builder was digging up the entire field, and planning to build houses immediately behind Sarah Jane. Hopping from one foot to the other they croaked and lamented their fate and begged the young girl to help them.
“Dear Sarah Jane” warbled one of the ugliest toads in the group, “please save our lives and find us a new home. We are in constant danger of huge lorries squashing our little bodies, and all our water is being drained out of the pond”.

His large bulging eyes almost popped out of his head in anguish, and Sarah Jane could hear dozens of weeping frogs crying in the background.

She sighed to herself. It was no joke being a saviour at 12 years old, and having to solve the problems of the universe.

“Dear frogs and little green friends I will give some thought to your tribulations and try to find a solution, then I will contact you”.

Her dreams that night were full of churned up fields, murky green water and sobbing frogs.

Next day she was up early determined to go searching for a new home for her friends. Sarah Jane walked through the fields in all directions trying to find exactly the right place where they would be happy. The problem was that wherever they settled the builders might soon follow destroying their home again.

She spent several days searching and was glad it was the school holidays, because she was so tired in the evening. Then one brilliant sunny morning Sarah Jane found exactly what she wanted. The trail led her over a hill and down into a valley where the ground was too marshy to build on. All around a beautiful grove of oak trees protected the valley from extremes of cold and windy weather. “ It’s quite isolated”, thought Sarah Jane, “but ideal for my friends if only they can make the long journey here’.

Hurrying home she summoned the frogs to attend a meeting that evening and told them about their new home. There was jubilation and great excitement, but SJ cautioned them about the long journey and told them they must build up their immune system and prepare for a long and arduous trip.

They were sobered by this, but decided immediately to eat properly, practice aerobics morning and evening and be disciplined about getting to bed early. No more croaking till the early hours of the morning, which really pleased Sarah Jane’s mother. No more congregating on the back patio in worship of their saviour. All of frog land would lead a simple life in preparation for the big move.

And so it came to pass. Three weeks later they assembled at the edge of the field where SJ arranged to meet them. They took one last look back at their homeland that was being churned up even as they left. It was early morning and SJ led them slowly up the winding trail to the top of the hill, where they stopped, ate lunch and slept awhile. Around the top of the hill they could see their new home in the distance, and cheered as Sarah Jane told them all about the marshy ground and scenic beauty awaiting them below. She new she must keep up their spirits. They were all very tired and the little ones were trailing behind, but she was determined they would reach the new land.

It was getting dark when they reached the valley. Exhausted and hungry, but filled with pride at their achievement they hopped onto the marshy ground and croaked with happiness.

“I must go”, said Sarah Jane. “My parents will be getting worried, and it’s a long way back”.

The frogs gathered round her. She could feel their love and devotion, and knew they did not want her to leave.

“I am very sad to be leaving you”, but I will come again soon, and I know you’ll be happy here”.

They nodded their heads in agreement, then one by one fell asleep before she left.
It was the loneliest journey Sarah Jane had ever made. At the top of the hill she turned back and saw one small frog waving goodbye from the valley below. Cupping her hands together she shouted over the wind “Goodbye Terrance. Be happy”. Already she was missing her frog family, but at last she could be a little girl again.

It was very hard work being a saviour.

Stella Leonard , 2006


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