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Never Alone She lumbered to the lake, shuffling her feet and kicking her toes through the

long wet grass. Her blonde curls lacked the bounce they usually held as they hung in front of her forlorn face. As she reached the waters edge, she let her toes sink into the soft ground as water puddled over her sunkissed skin. In the distance she heard muffled laughter, dogs barking, and the sound of motor boats skimming the waters glassy surface. Longingly, she gazed across the lake, breathing in the serene surroundings. Lost in thought, the girl didnt notice the bullfrog hop on to the lily pad next to her small, muddy feet. A loud croak interrupted the dream she found herself in. Well hello, Mr. Frog! I didnt see you there, the girl giggled in amusement. She bent down to pick up her new friend, surprised at the stillness of her green companion. The frog croaked, Actually, my name is Franklin. The girl jumped at the sound of her amphibious friends voice, dropping him to the ground. His limbs flailed as he sought refuge in the water beneath him. Hesitantly, the girl bent down to the waters edge, peering into the cloudy water. Hello? Uh...Are you there Mr. Frog? Im sorry for dropping you...I, uh, Ive never met a talking frog before, and well...I guess I got a little scared... The girl waited. Silently she waited for the frog to reveal himself once more. She was afraid that shed never get the chance to talk to this special frog again! Just as she was about to turn around and walk away from the water, she heard a faint voice, I told you. My name is Franklin. Please dont go. There on the lily pad was the frog she was hoping to see. Why do you look so sad, little girl? Relieved that the frog hadnt left her, she pondered his question as she began playing with the curls that hung low in front of her face. The girl was embarrassed and didnt know how to tell her new friend that she was lonely. Well, see, I look so sad because, um...maybe I am a little sad. As she spoke the words, tears began to well up in her blue-green eyes. Her lip quivered as she confessed, Im very lonely, Mr. Frog. There is nobody around to play with me. Im all alone. Momma says that Im never alone. But if thats true, Mr. Frog, then why do I feel so sad? The little girl buried her face in her hands. At that very moment, the frog wished for arms to hug the little girl, his new friend. He thought long and hard about what to say to his friend. As he listened to the wind, and felt the sun warming his body, a joyous smile crept across his face. Oh little girl, you are not alone! You are in the company of magnificence! You sit in the lap of beauty and play in the arms of wonder! You are never alone, little girl. Confused, the girl lifted her heavy head from her hands. Her plump, tear-stained cheeks were rosy and warm. No words fell from her lips. Her eyes blinked with bewilderment. Listen to the wind, little girl. It whispers hello through the trees. Look up, little girl, for the sun is smiling down on you. The leaves are rustling laughter with you, little girl, as you play together. The

birds are singing for you as the cattails dance along side of you. You see, little girl, you are never alone. The girl thought of this for a while. She slowly stood as the world spun around her. The noises began to grow louder and louder as she listened, creating an orchestra of familiar, but forgotten, sounds. Lifting her arms out to her sides, she found herself twirling to the beat of the music shed once known, feeling the wind play with her hair. Laughter burst from within her, as if it had been locked up for far too long. The frog whispered to the girl as she knelt down to thank him, You are never alone, little girl. Always remember that. When youre feeling sad, look to the sky, listen to the breeze, little girl, and think of the beautiful creations that God has given you to remind you that He loves you, and is with you always. Never forget, little girl, that you are never alone. In sweet bliss, the girl whispered back, Thank you, Mr. Frog. When I feel alone, Ill think of youFranklin. Because you helped me remember that I am never alone.

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