Who’d have thought a few frogs would be worth so much? My overwhelming fear of starvation has finally subsided, giving way to an only slightly less crippling fear of dying from exposure.
Emboldened by my success with the frogs of Willow Creek, I hit the internet again for more suggestions, and they were pretty much unanimous. I was going to have to check out the frog scene in Oasis Springs.
Oasis Springs, being mostly desert, would seem to be a pretty unsuitable habitat for water-loving creatures like frogs. However, not surprisingly, Oasis Springs is dotted with small ponds, which one might describe as oases, fed by underground water sources which one could describe as springs. It’s all right there in the name of the town.
I made my way to such an oasis and it paid off big time. There were quite a few frogs, and I didn’t even have to put any of my extremities into deep woody cavities to get at them. I could just sit at the edge of the water croaking away like some kind of oversized, curly-haired froggy trollop, and they practically lined up to jump inside my ample pockets.
A guy can get pretty hungry teasing frogs with a good time, so I wandered off to a nearby park fully intending to search for tasty-looking cactus. I’d made some money in Willow Creek but hadn’t had the foresight to buy food before leaving for a barren desert bereft of conveniences like grocery stores or fast food joints.
When I stumbled on Akira Kobo grilling burgers in the park, I’m pretty sure I heard angels sing. I could barely make it out over the rumbling of my belly, but I’m pretty sure it was angels. Might have been the frogs in my pockets. In any case, providence was on my side, since Akira seemed more than willing to share the fruits of his outdoor cooking labor with the random guy who was just standing there in front of him, drooling.
We sat in that park eating burgers and shooting the breeze until the cool air of the afternoon started to change to the frigid cold of a desert evening in winter. You may not typically think of deserts as cold enough to freeze you solid, but trust me, they can get very cold at night. At one point I leaned over the table for one last burger and I was relatively sure one of my nipples snapped off.
I checked. Still two, but I was worried for a second that I’d be living the rest of my life lopsided.
My hunger sated and my nipples intact, it was time to finally get serious about finding a place to take a shower. While there are a lot of foul smells in the world, few of them compare to the ungodly combination of dirty clothes with pockets full of frogs, being worn by a guy who has recently traveled through at least three different biomes and hasn’t showered the whole time.
I looked up the address of the nearest gym on my phone, thanked Akira for saving me from wasting away, and began the final leg of the journey that would take me to the treasure I had sought for so long: a hot shower.