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Frog in the Hand

I slid the skintight green bodysuit over… well, my body. Pulling on a green mask, I glanced in the mirror. I looked like a superhero!

“You look like a string bean,” my brother said.

“A powerful string bean,” I answered back.

Today, I was meeting Billy for our annual frog hunt. We dressed in green so the frogs would think we were fellow amphibians.

Every spring, we catch frogs for Mr. Polvado. We put them in his pond, because he likes to hear them croak. Which is odd, because he’s always telling me I make too much noise. Maybe I should work on my croaking.

I raced out the door, jumped on my bike and… missed. I made a note not to jump on my bike with a frog mask on.

Picking myself up, I saw Billy ride up the driveway. He carried two gunnysacks. I don’t know why they’re called that. I’ve never caught a gunny in one, mostly because I don’t know what that is.

“Watch out for vegans!” my brother shouted as we rode off.

When we reached the creek, I saw the first frog and dove after it. I learned two important lessons: frogs can out-jump me, and creek water is freezing!

Billy caught the next six frogs from the bank while I practiced shivering. I made a mental note to get a thicker bodysuit for next year. Maybe the kind they use to scuba dive in Alaska.

All total, we caught 18 frogs! I also caught a cold, but I didn’t find that out until later.

We rode over to Mr. Polvado’s house and knocked on the door. Mr. Polvado is in his 80s, so he walks at a speed that can best be timed by a calendar. He invited us inside for hot chocolate. Setting the gunnysack down, I asked if he had a hairdryer to de-ice my legs. He told me that I was funnier than last year, when I said the frogs were hopping mad.

We sat in his kitchen, sipping hot chocolate by the window. That’s when we heard the croaking.

“Thank you, boys,” Mr. Polvado sighed. “I love that sound. I can’t wait to hear their twilight symphonies.”

“Well, you can listen in the living room right now,” I said. “I’m pretty sure the frogs escaped.”

Billy and I jumped into action to catch the frogs again. Mr. Polvado even attempted to catch one. Of course, by the time he finished standing up, all the frogs were back in the sack.

It felt good to do something nice for Mr. Polvado. Next year, I’m going to try to catch him a gunny.

For more Average Boy, check out his podcast and books at

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