Thursday, October 20, 2011

I think back to that lone Panamanian golden frog, waving to no one at all on a riverbank. The point of all the semaphore is that the water is too loud to hear anyone croaking, and so just because it maybe hopped off to run an errand one afternoon it is doomed to wave without answer. As though breathing through your skin might not be the most dangerous thing of all.

Anyway, it turns out that to your average Panamanian the sighting of one of those frogs is considered to be good luck, which is sort of a cruel joke given that all the rest of the survivors were scooped up and spirited away to a secret location. All that's left is that one hypothetical leftover frog, dispensing luck with all his might, friendly and waving and breathing through its skin. The secret is that its skin is also making a neurotoxin, because luck is a thing that should be seen and not touched. Maybe that's where the luck is, in coming so near the most toxic of frogs and living to tell, in wanting to hold it in the palm of your hand and yet refraining. Maybe they're just as lucky in captivity as they are next to cool green riverbanks, when the only option is to look instead of touch.