The Tadpoles Didn’t See

The surface rippled,

Three pairs of feet plopped in

And the tadpoles scurried

To hide in caverns.

Sighs of relief

Brushed over the tiny rock pool

As cool water

Soothed sore feet.

The tadpoles gambolled again,

Silence drawing them out;

They didn’t see the awestruck faces

Watch the rain-cloud’s approach.

Feet dashed out of the pool,

Flashed wet into shoes,

Humping backpacks

They sprinted down the hill.

The tadpoles darted to hide,

They didn’t see

The slanting column of rain

Join Earth to bulbous cloud.

When fat droplets hammered down,

Bullets shredding the pond,

They shivered with fright;

They didn’t hear the girls whoop with delight.

They didn’t see the girls

Race each other

Leaving behind joyous laughter

Echoing on the hill sides.

Sliding on wet rock, leaping thorny scrub,

Splashing through churned mud,

The girls scrambled

To outrun rain approaching head-on.

Hah! Stinging necks, arms, exposed skin;

Smacking on heads, walloping clothes,

Running in rivulets down sun-browned limbs;

The rain swooped in victorious.

The tadpoles didn’t see

The girls tear across a farmer’s fallow field,

Panting giggles lost in fiercely tattooing rain,

Until brought short by a broad deep trench.

The tadpoles didn’t see

The flash flood roiling down the hilly end

In frothing bubbles and fuming spume,

Heavy water gushing to fill the gorge.

The tadpoles didn’t see

Two girls jump in, dart across and climb to safety;

They called the third to hurry,

But she hesitated a bit too long.

The tadpoles didn’t see

The third jump in at last,

The rushing water now an angry river

Just a few feet away from swamping her.

The tadpoles didn’t see

The fear-filled eyes,

Or hear the scream of the girls safe on the bank:

‘Mahe! Get out of there!’

The tadpoles didn’t see

Mahe nimbly climb on to a root spanning the gully,

And balance limbs braced apart

As the water gurgled past inches beneath.

The tadpoles didn’t see;

Only those girls are blessed with that memory.


4 thoughts on “The Tadpoles Didn’t See

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