Uncle Three Sheets, the greatest fisherman that ever lived, used to tell this story. He said he was fishing and came across a large moccasin with a huge bullfrog in its jaws. Knowing the frog was good bass bait; he reached down, grabbed the snake, pried the frog loose and threw it in the live well. Now he had to figure out how to dislodge the snake that had coiled around his arm. He pulled his bottle of Early Times from a back pocket and poured a big swig into the snake’s mouth. The snake swallowed and immediately uncoiled from around Uncle Three Sheets arm and hung loosely down. Uncle Three Sheets threw the snake up on the bank and continued fishing. He said that about thirty minutes later he felt a tug at his ankle and looked down and there was that snake again. This time the snake had two frogs in his mouth.
I was in the back yard last week and it was whisper quiet with only an occasional soft breeze rustling through the pine needles. I was sitting on the grass, lost in thought, contemplating the demise of my country and its correlation with the demise of the Roman Empire, when I became cognizant of a strange sound, one I had never heard, a wail that was the most pitiful thing one can imagine. I strained to hear the sound and it got louder, loud enough to hear every screeching note and every treble. Mystified, I got up and began to home in on the sound. As I got closer to its source, the wail seemed to be crying for mercy, begging for it, pleading piteously for help. I am serious. It soon became apparent why the sound was so heart wrenching. I pinpointed that it was coming from a small frog. All I could see sticking out of the water was its tiny head, not much bigger than my thumb. I reached down; it made no effort to move. I picked it up and, sweet Jesus, a snake had hold of its lower half.
The snake was not poisonous, just a harmless water snake, but they eat frogs, just like the venomous ones. I carefully pried the snake’s jaws apart and it loosed the frog into my right hand. I then threw the snake a good distance away, unharmed, and released the frog near the water. It just sat there, stunned, and finally hopped into the moss-covered pool and disappeared. I thought how nice it would have been if the frog had turned and said “I shall grant you one wish, kind man. What will it be?”
I would have wished that our political leaders never tell us another lie or half-truth and that all our citizens start showing some self responsibility.
But the frog just disappeared and I returned to Rome.