Jewel Beth Davis
and Jack Hernandez

Jack Hernandez
Inspiration Piece

The Bullfrog’s Vision
By Jewel Beth Davis

“Where are we?” Sarah said.

“Just keep walking,” Sadie told her.

The two sisters moved along the path blanketed in darkness. For Sarah, it didn’t matter since she was blind. She made up for it by talking nonstop. Sadie, on the contrary, was unusually laconic. The twins had left hours earlier for a walk in the woods near their home and had paid no attention to the fact that the sun was starting to set when they began.

“Was that a frog I heard?” Sarah said. Her hearing was acute. The deep throaty rhythmic tones reverberated through the trees, and Sarah felt them in her bones and muscles. She held on to Sadie’s forearm as they walked. She liked going into unfamiliar surroundings with her sister. It made her footing more stable wherever she went.

“Hey, what was that song we used to sing about a frog when we were younger?”

“Jeremiah was a bullfrog. Was a good friend of mine,” Sadie belted the song, partially to scare away any wild animals that might be lurking or perhaps her own fear.

Sarah joined in. “Joy to the world. All the boys and girls.”

“Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea. Joy to you and me,” they both sang out.

After that, the silence was overpowering in contrast. Sarah stopped walking and listened, feeling the cool air blow softly around her face and hair.

“So, Sadie, we’re lost?”

“We’re fine.”

Sadie acknowledged to herself that she couldn’t see any more than Sarah could. In the future, she’d be able to empathize more with her sister, she thought. “We’re not lost. Exactly. We’ve temporarily lost our bearings.”

Sadie reached into the pocket of her windbreaker and then remembered they’d intentionally left their cell phones at home so they could experience nature without distractions. What to do? She began to sense an overwhelming anxiety. Her shoulders began to climb up to her ears. Her breath rate quickened. There was a ringing inside her head. She looked at her sister and Sarah’s face was serene and relaxed. She wondered what it was about being blind that allowed Sarah to remain calm in stressful situations. She’d been like this since they were both children.

“You feel worried to me,” Sarah said.

“Feel worried?”

Sadie sensed movement from Sarah, like a nod, but the darkness was so pervasive she couldn’t be sure.

“I can feel crackly energy all around you. You’re afraid we won’t find our way out.”

Sadie did not respond to the truth of that statement. “You seem fine,” she said.

“Being blind is like being perpetually lost in the woods. This is no different than my usual state, except I’m not as familiar with the environment, the sounds.” She reached out and felt for, then touched her sister’s face and hair. “Do you remember when I dropped Mommy’s multiple strands of real pearls?”

“Mmhm,” Sadie said.

“They broke and rolled into a hundred directions, hiding under things and in crevices. I had to find every single pearl so I could get the necklace fixed. I was frantic. But you were out somewhere. Mommy wasn’t home either, for which I was grateful.”

“Are you sure I wasn’t home? I don’t remember that,” Sadie said. They both felt the wind pick up as it brushed through the branches of surrounding trees and bushes.

“Oh, I’m sure. I spent hours alone on the floor, searching out small white balls. They were everywhere. They were smooth and slippery and kept rolling away from my hands. The task seemed impossible, never ending, and even when I thought I’d found every one, I knew I’d never know for sure. That was so much harder to me than being lost in the woods. It’s the not knowing that can drive you crazy.”

“I never considered it from that perspective,” Sadie said.

They hadn’t been walking, but now they started up again. This time, Sarah led the way, taking Sadie’s hand. She touched the trees before and beside her and listened intently. Soon, light reached them from the road, followed by car sounds. Sadie felt her anxiety break like a storm and her breathing slowed. They walked the road, hugging the shoulder for safety. Finally, in the distance, they could see the dark outlines of their home and the winding driveway leading up to it. Light poured out of one of the windows but only Sadie could see that. The house was in shadows and looked familiar and unknown at the same time.

“We’re home,” Sarah said with certainty. Sadie squeezed her sister’s hand and they made their way up the winding road to the familiar unknown.