No Chains


In elementary school, I always wondered what was in the field beyond the fence.
One time I jumped over the fence to catch a toad that my friend wanted to catch.
I caught the toad, looked at it, and let it go.
My friend said, “Why did you do that?!”
I told her I didn’t want to bring him on the other side of the fence.
She was sad because she didn’t get to hold the toad,
so I told her to jump over the fence and catch him.
She didn’t.


Filed under Poetry Present

20 responses to “No Chains

  1. Now that’s an interesting one…
    It touches strings of sociology but also existentialist individualism, if it’s been intended as such.
    Thank you for following my blog. I’ll be following yours, finding your writings interesting.
    My comments will develop as I’ll come to better understand how much you are willing/able to take.
    You are more than welcome to share your thoughts on my articles…

    • I noticed you love Bob Dylan. Bob Dylan has and always will be my favorite musician. He actually inspires my poetry, so you are right.

      This story obviously stems from an experience I had as a child. When I jumped over the fence, I looked into the field and felt like I could go anywhere. I was free to leave and no one would know where I was. So when I caught the toad, I looked into his eyes and I just couldn’t bring him on the other side of the fence because I didn’t want to take that feeling of freedom away from him. I knew that he would be trapped by the other kids who wanted to see and hold him.

      I also didn’t mention that when I jumped back over the fence, one of the other kids went and told the teacher I jumped over the fence. She came over to me and asked me why I would break the rules after she already told me I couldn’t jump over the fence. I said, “Because I wanted to know what was on the other side. Why am I in trouble? I came back.” She didn’t have much to say after that. I wouldn’t have either. My day was a little different after that.

      • Thank you so much for you detailed reply, also for your openness. I’ll follow closely and be in touch.
        Dylan is THE reason I became a singer amongst others, and his lyrics inspire me ever since, too…

  2. I’m happy you let the toad go. πŸ™‚ It’s a mystery why one person will jump the fence and the other will not. I’m usually a fence jumper, it there’s no shotgun…

    • I was thinking about it, and this story is vastly different from the rest of my frog/toad catching stories. Man, when I was that age, I was catching frogs, salamanders, toads, and keeping them pets. I loved them! It wasn’t until I jumped over that fence and felt the freedom the toad had that I understood that if you love something, you should let it be free. I guess you could say it was an early epiphany. πŸ™‚

      • That was a good epiphany. That living things should not be toys. Should not be caged. It’s an important lesson. I used to catch snakes and keep them in a jar, but my stepmother would scream and make me turn them loose.

  3. Interesting story. I agree with Brenda, we can’t tell why one person will take a risk and another one won’t. They miss out on the adventure, for sure. Many thanks for visiting and following my blog.

  4. Neon Fish

    more poetry please πŸ™‚

  5. Nice. Deep, too. I’ll wander about, later. Just wanted to say that I really like that story, Observe you have unenabled ‘likes’: I’d be really interested to learn your take on this …

  6. I wonder how many other fences (opportunities) your friend failed to conquer.

  7. know that right there was good . . . so much meaning in so few words . . .

  8. Such a beautiful thought. I always wanted to jump that fence of the society but was never allowed to. Little did i knew that THE FENCE was IMAGINARY. ( Thanks for following)


    True Freedom

  10. And, by jumping over that “forbidden fence”, you’d taken that very first step toward freedom, and, your friend is so used to living inside the system, that even IF on the other side, there are better options offered to her/him, s/he still rather choose the safe route, and, congrats to you, for being able to take that first step away from what’s familiar, by doing so, you’d already become a better person already.

  11. Reblogged this on All About My Thoughts and commented:
    A Small “Leap” for a Frog, a HUGE Step for a Human Being

  12. Crash MacDuff

    Reblogged this on CrashCourse.

  13. I love this. It speaks to me in a way I haven’t heard for some time. I have been experiencing “living on the other side of the fence.” Meanwhile, everyone I know and love (excluding my husband) has been stuck in the same monotony. True freedom is beautiful, exciting, yet lonely. It’s a struggle that I have daily. Thank you for this poem. I needed to read it today. -R

  14. Love your style and content!

  15. stephendallen

    Ah, boundaries and how they are unique to each of us. They way you laid out this piece is simple and beautiful. You have such an accessable style.

    Thank you for following me at, “Through The Cracked Window,” I truly appreciate that. – Stephen

  16. I remember the first time I was frightened by a spider. And spiders are harmless where I live. I picked it up off its web and my hold had become less gentle. So the spide became squashed flat and yellow ooze came out of its body. It fell from my grasp and as if immortal wandered off with a flat contentless existence, with nothing.

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