Deal 666: Chased, and Leapt

Frog’s leap they called it.

A cliff overlooking a deep bog, the reason for the name was never all that clear. No sane frog would ever leap off a cliff. The cliff didn’t resemble a frog, and aside from color, neither did the fen below. And yet, the name was solidly stuck.

And like most such names, if you dig enough you might not discover the truth but you can at least discover a story that ought to be true.

Once upon a time, Fred was a gentleman of the neighborhood. Although he mostly kept to his own extensive property, he was seen in town often enough to be recognized. His lands included both the cliff and bog in question, but history does not record what they were called at that time.

Fred was always a little odd, and never really fit in among his peers. In hindsight, that might have been because he wasn’t fully human. Not that anyone was certain of that at the time. But occasionally, after everyone had a few mugs of ale, he’d feel almost comfortable among people.

It was one of those times that it happened.

He and most of the adults in town were pleasantly drunk.

Somehow, the idea took them to all go for a run in the woods. Fred led the way, over hill, through dale, crossing streams, and generally coming around to his lands from the far side. At some point, the run became more about the chase than a friendly run, and they were all distinctly chasing Fred without really knowing why. Then they reached the high point of the leap.

Fred paused dramatically near the edge, said something to the crowd that has been lost to history, then leapt off.

Partway down he transformed.

Into a frog.

Which went ker-plunk into the bog.

And was never seen again.

But if you go sit at the edge on a spring night, you can hear the bullfrogs all calling, asking who chased Fred off the edge.

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