The Frogs

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The Frogs The frogs were singing again. I had heard them all night through the thin membrane of my tent. Their songs had died down with the rising sun, but now they picked up again with a fervor that sounded not unlike desperation to my teenage ears. I rested in the tent only a few moments before clearing the sleep from my eyes and springing out of my sleeping bag to greet the mourning. Dew droplets still covered everything, and the mourning seemed as magical as any other morning does to a young person of sixteen, camping in the woods. My brother had already awakened. He was sitting on a rock waiting for other people to wake up and smiling happily to see that it was me first and not one of the other kids from our group. They were all pretty boring, and we had no interest in their stories of adolescent rebellion. I slipped my feet into my hiking boots and looked at my watch. It was just after seven, and I knew that the two counselors who were with us wouldn’t wake up till at least eight. We had time to play before they did. “The lake or the cliffs?” I asked, gesturing to the singing frogs behind me and the rocky face that we had nestled our tent under the previous night. We had been hiking a long time the night before, at least twelve miles. We still had a long way to go too. The stretch that we were completing started just at the Connecticut border and wound its way down through the mountains of New York and into New Jersey before finally ending at the border in Pennsylvania, the most famous of East Coast trails. “The cliffs!” he said keeping his voice to a hushed shout as not to wake the others. There were adventures to be had, and it just wouldn’t fit to have anyone wake up and tell us to do something and spoil our excitement. He was just a bit shorter than me, but his frame was already starting to develop into something wider and heavier than mine. I, two years his senior, wouldn’t allow him to beat me in a sprint.

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