Some of you might have seen this one before, but I love it, so there. Also, I accidentally drowned my computer, so I’m a bit out of commission. Also, I’m freezing. I don’ t know. Read this:
Once upon a time there was a little poison tree frog who wanted very badly to be good at something.
This little poison tree frog had this idea that success mattered. He wanted to be recognized for having something that other people valued.
He wanted to be handsome, funny, intelligent–talented. Especially talented.
He wanted people to smile when they saw him. He wanted people to smile when they heard his name.
In the early days, this desire was all-consuming. He slaved over any and all work he did–climbing trees, being colorful, poisoning shit. It drove him kind of crazy.
The little poison tree frog sought out advice, and the best advice he got, or so he thought, came from a leaf he knew but did not eat.
The leaf said: “what difference does it make if you’re great at something? You can poison some shit just enough to make it sick. You can have mildly vibrant colors. As for climbing, I’m only on this branch. Why would you need to go any higher?”
And the little poison tree frog, he liked this line of reasoning.
He hadn’t really been recognized for his extra efforts.
The sound of his name inspired smiles in some, but not all of the people he knew.
What was wrong with that?
So he relaxed.
He let the craziness flee from his head.
He settled in on the branch next to the leaf he knew but did not eat.
Something within him made him want to keep producing poison.
More killery poison.
And he did, in his spare time.
He studied the power of poisons, and became adept at it.
The other frogs, they knew what he was doing.
It wasn’t unusual.
He was working hard, the way another small segment of the frog population also did.
But the little poison tree frog, his poison got really, really good.
Only problem is this: deadly poison isn’t the most valued commodity in the tree frog population.
It’s surprising, I know.
Tree frogs love beauty, love color.
Poison is respected, but not celebrated.
Well, celebrated when it’s useful, when it’s really effing good.
But it’s not an everyday need, let’s say.
So our little poison tree frog, he decides he needs a more marketable skill.
Something to get him into position to better focus on his passion, which was poisoning shit.
So he decides to learn to fly.
Now, flying is very important to tree frogs.
I know, it’s surprising.
You didn’t even know they could fly.
Well, they can.
If you’re a tree frog and you’re bad at flying, you’re in a rough position.
No matter how good your poison is.
So our hero, he decides to learn to fly.
And guess what?
He hates it.
He hates the wind in his face.
He hates having to climb to the top of a tree just to jump off it.
He hates the philosophy of flying.
He’s fine with walking, with jumping, with taking his time.
He’s fine with staying home and working on his poison.
This flying stuff–he’s sure it will make him a better tree frog, but he just hates it.
And he’s not sure what the heck he’s going to do about that.
And on some level, he thinks that the real root of his problem goes way back to that one conversation he had with the leaf he knows but does not eat.
“What if I wasn’t so afraid of the crazy?”
That’s what he thinks.
“What if I was content to not understand this flying thing?”
“I’m old, and I’m great at poisoning shit, and that could be enough, it should be enough. It’s a whole lot of work, and it’s not guaranteed, and keeping all that deadly poison in my house could be a real problem.”
“But god damn, all I’ve really ever wanted to do was poison shit.”
“No–all I’ve really ever wanted to do was be really really really good at something.”
This is all what he thinks.
And it’s all that he thinks.
“And I’m really really really good at poisoning shit.”
But then he wonders about flight, and he wonders if he’s just settling for not knowing how to fly, if the fact of the matter is that flight is just too hard and what he’s rebelling against, the hard work, and maybe this is him following the words of the leaf, maybe here he’s settling for being average, maybe he needs to fly in order to, he doesn’t know, find new ways to drop poison on the unsuspecting heads of shit that needs poisoning.
Hmm. He kind of likes that thought.
And guess what he’s doing while he’s thinking all this?
He’s thinking about it.
And not doing anything about either thing.
So he resolves–or tries to resolve–to do both.
Until he goes crazy.
Or until it gets easier.
Or until he becomes famous for his poison.
Or his flight, he guesses.
And the one thing he wonders–wonders a lot–is if he would have been happier just being a leaf.