The Frog’s Sharp Claws

No, this isn’t going to be a tale about an amphibious croaker, this is about a piece of brass with a number of very sharp two-penny nail (2d) sized pins standing upright on a pedestal. Mom owned a number of these and when not in use, she kept them under the kitchen sink.

One afternoon, shortly after getting my hair buzzed off (which happen nearly every school year after class pictures and again at the beginning of summer,) I was suffering from ‘itchy head syndrome’ and was in need of something to seriously scratch my head with. Using a hairbrush wasn’t getting the job done, so I figured one of Mom’s metal frogs would do the trick.

For a good many minutes, I moved the frog, with it’s sharp nails over my scalp and soon the itchiness disappeared and I felt much better. So I put the frog away and went outside to play.

It wasn’t too long after that one of the neighbor kids stopped me to ask what was wrong with my head. After I said nothing was wrong, she then asked why I was bleeding all over myself.

Reaching up and touching the side of my head, I raced home in a panic after seeing blood on my finger tips. Evidently, the frog was sharper than I though and I had scratch marks coursing although what stubble remained on my noggin.

Mom helped me get cleaned up and she even put hydrogen peroxide on my self-inflicted cuts and scrapes. By the next morning, my scabbed-over scalp looked as if I had tangled with a wildcat and lost.

The second I stepped on the school bus, the teasing commenced. Later in the the day Mr. Escola, my fifth grade teacher, asked me in private what had happened and I started to explain what I’d done.

As I told him, he tried not too, but he chuckled slightly. Hearing this, I began to cry and in embarrassment I hid in the restroom when recesses came around.

Near the middle of the following week, I had grown accustom to the teasing, the snickers and names like, “Scratch,” “Road map” and “Scabbs.” This created a complacency that left me absent-mindedly picking at my wounds.

Following lunch, Mr. Escola usually read to us and we quietly sat and listened as he did. That’s when I started playing with a rather long scab that had dried from one side of my head to the other.

Without thinking, I gently tugged on it until I peeled the entire thing in one piece off my scalp. It was probably a good four-to-five inch piece and I couldn’t help but marvel at it as I rolled it around between my fingers.

Then for some inexplicable reason I put one end of the scab between my teeth to see what it felt like. That’s when I came out of my revery and realized Lorri Stobert was staring at me in disbelief.

Without warning, she rolled her eyes in the back of her head and began to quiver and squeal. It took her a moment to be able to explain to Mr. Escola and the rest of the class what she had jus’ witnessed.

Mr. Escola then sent me to the principal’s office for disrupting class.

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