Frogs, like other amphibians, make good indicator species because they live in two environments, land and water.  They have thin skin that they sometimes breathe through. The thin skin will also absorb toxic chemicals, radiation, and diseases. If there are lots of frogs and other amphibians in a habitat, it is an indicator that the ecosystem is healthy.

The Harlequins were First

Attacked by fungus, two-thirds erased. 
Gone. Twenty years was all it took.
Geologic time in firefly moments.

Blink and disappear.

Blink and disappear.

The changes, wrought by human arrogance.
Ignorance favoured our killers,
who best bred in this environment:
their lives, our deaths.

Thin-skinned, we Harlequins
to the smallest changes.
Sensitive to temperature,
air and water.

We are harbingers.  
No malice in our deaths, we know.
We bear the fungus no ill-will.
But there are no princesses to kiss us,
to make us whole.

There was no malevolent spell,
only indifference to anything other than Self.
Which is, in the end, the true opposite of love.
They did not care.

The sacred wells have dried up,
hidden away. And any golden ball that falls
will shatter, against hardened dust.

We will not bleed to pick up shards
golden-haired princesses, or no.

We will no longer be here.

Not in your wells,
nor in your waters.
Revenant memories only
of a Time Before.

You will wish there were Harlequins
still to kiss.  Not for a lack of princes,
but for water, and for life.

Fiona Mackintosh (© May 15, 2018)

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