I looked up from Denivar Bronkovsky's Denver Broncos 2009 Season to see that the rain had started to fall. Having just finished Part 2: Chapter 2 -- Frog Stomp, I grimaced at the blowing winds, ripping leaves and hurling them, pell mell, down the glistened street. I put on my coat and headed out the door, straight to the raveen .
As my boots squelched the mud, laboring down the sodden trail, I could hear Freedom's last words to me before we read Chapter 2 --Frog Stomp, "I'll be at Claudia's, banging on that metal chimney flue. They'll be able to hear me all the way to Mile High." A lone tear made fresh tracks.
By and by I came upon a frog on a log, strumming a ukelele and lightly whistlin' a strange and wondrous tune.
"Ho there frog."
"Hey there buddy. Why the long face?"
"The Broncos lost."
"The whosa whatsa?"
"C'mon frog, quit messin'. My Broncos, they lost."
"Alright buddy, settle down. Why dontcha sit down and tell me what happened."
"Well, they came out just bout like they always do: bit slow on the O, and really just swell on the D. But then the second half just didn't play out like usual. Instead of making the adjustments, we got straight adjusted into the mud."
"What? No. No frog, I don't have a smoke. Dang it man, listen..."
"S'right. So they even turned our Champ into a chump, what with leaping over him and junk. And that was really just the worst bit, worse even than the loss. Cause he's still our Champ. And we still love him. Do you think I should send him a card?"
"I know, its just, I felt so bad."
The frog began to strum some more and gave me a sympathetic tilt of the head and slight grin. He looked a bit magical really... what with the talking and strumming and all.
"So, if we make out, will you turn into a super hot princess lady that would maybe help ease my pain?"
"No. But we'd be making out, and that's always pretty cool."
The frog became a little less magical... and a little more creepy.
"I'm just kidding dude. Look, didn't your boys lose to the champions of the world?"
"And aren't ya'll a bit of the Johnny-Come-Lately's?"
"Well, we got serious history frog. But yeah, not too much has been expected from us this year."
"And if I'dda told you at the begining of the season that ya'll would start 6-2, you woulda wanted to make out then too, for different reasons, no?"
"Um, well, I spose thats true."
I headed outta the raveen and back up the road to the house. I stopped at the Plaid Pantry and picked up some Swisher Sweets and a book of matches. The rain had setteled into a tolerent drizzle, enabling me to light up with ease. I blew little frog rings out of my mouth, each one leaping over the next, in homage to my smokeless little friend, and decided that the occasional stomping isn't so bad. Even the Champ gets leaped once in awhile. Or maybe just once. Ever.
I sat on the porch steps and stamped out the end of the cigarillo on the bottom of my boot. The door swung open.
"Were you smoking?"
"I was paying homage."
"You were smoking."
My little man ducked around her legs.
"Daddy you smell sweet."
"C'mere little man. There comes a time in every man's life when you just gotta take one on the chin. You gotta make out with that frog. You gotta smoke that Swisher Sweet and just move on."
"Daddy, did the Broncos lose?"
"Yes son, yes they did."
"I hope they never lose again."
"Me too, my boy."
"Cause you're weird."
And in that silent moment just after my son's illumination, we all tilted our heads down the road to the faint and drifting sound of ukelele and chimney flue, resonating in perfect harmony and time across Bronco Country, with smiles on our faces and tears right in our eyes. May the good Lord shine a light on you, make every song you sing, your favorite tune.