Once upon a time, I bought a solar light shaped like a very large frog. He lived among the rocks in full sunlight, collecting and storing energy by day. By night, he emitted a pale green, un-froglike glow.
For over a year, he has watched silently over a family of feral cats and some skunks who live there - under and among the boulders and the dry brush I pile around them.
As he aged, and the plastic clouded over, and his green color was bleached out by the sun, his light grew softer, paler, yet somehow even stranger. By the end of summer, he had taken on a sinister patina and his evening light seemed to hint at some mysterious secret. As autumn faded, he looked like an exiled Russian dying in a British hospital, silently and malevolently radioactive.
Then, one recent night, the cats, or the skunks, knocked the frog off his rock perch and smashed the plastic base housing his solar collector. Separated from the source of his power, I thought he would never glow again. He seemed, finally, to be at peace.
But then, I noticed him recently, and he’d been transformed. As the western sun slanted low over the rocks late one winter afternoon, the enchanted frog was backlit in a glorious reincarnation of his former self. That’s him between the rocks, as seen from the twilight down below in the back yard. There he sits patiently, and with every sunset he regains his former glory for a few moments, waiting only for or a maiden’s kiss to transform into a handsome prince. And then, they will live happily ever after.