the frog and the snake--a true tale At some point in the mid 90's (during my third and worst relapse, after almost 20 years of CFS), I got so fed up with people that I gave up on most of them and retreated into solitude, to do my creative work, all alone goddamit, and fuck the rest of the world. There was only one immediate "friend" I had in the neighborhood at that time, which was a little frog that lived in a stack of clay pots outside my bedroom window. His cute little croaking was a big comfort to me during these days of isolation. On really hot days, I used to peek inside the stack of pots to find him nestled near the bottom, and give him a refreshing squirt of cool water, from my plant spritzer bottle. It became kind of sweet daily routine with froggy and me. Then one day, this big long gopher snake appeared from out of the blue, and stretched itself out in the sun on the patio bricks, beside the table with the clay pots, that were home to my frog friend. I inadvertently almost stepped on the intruder/snake, on my way around the corner, with my spritzer bottle in hand! Within a couple days, I noticed that the frog had ceased his sweet croaking, and I couldn't find him at home, when I investigated the clay pot stack. I definitely felt sad. I assumed the snake had... you know... I can't even say it. So I surrendered to the frog's "disappearance," and went on with my life inside my womb of isolation. Before long, I had completely resigned myself to the realities of the food chain, and did not expect to see my froggy again. But then, one day, about 2 weeks later... lo and behold... my froggy friend announced, with his usual very recognizable croaking call, that he was alive and well, and back at home in his clay pot stack. Oh my GOD! I was so excited, that I ran out to make sure I hadn't been halluci-auditating. And NO I wasn't. He REALLY TRULY was back safe and sound. My questions to him were: Where have you been? Did you KNOW the snake was in the vicinity? How did you manage to "keep quiet" all that time? Did you hide out around here or elsewhere? and How did you know it was safe to come out? and when? So the moral of the story, as I see it, is that that there are frogs and snakes. The rest you can conclude as you wish.