Seeing Eye Frog (Flash Fiction - 100 to 300 Words)

Rick had a seeing eye frog named Ribbit. Rick didn't have insurance to afford a seeing eye dog, but service frogs were cheap even though they were less common than service dogs and required more work to train.

Ribbit was fairly low maintenance. The frog ate meal worms, the staple food for service frogs (and indeed regular pet frogs as well). Meal worms were inexpensive and were available in bulk at any pet store, usually packaged in a styrofoam cup with some damp organic soil. Rick had tried crickets, but they were too noisy to be practical.

Rick sometimes had problems at airport security and at Customs when traveling internationally. Customs officials didn’t like live insects or Styrofoam cups full of soil or the amphibian. Security waylaid Rick often because of the full water jug Rick had to carry with him to periodically moisten Ribbit’s skin. On more than one occasion he had had to drink its contents. Usually when he showed officials his papers for Ribbit they didn't detain him long before he could continue to his gate, Ribbit hopping dutifully in front of him at the end of a thin leash. 

Ribbit was a leopard frog, capable of taking long leaps through the air and landing with targeted precision. When Rick needed to take an elevator, for example, Ribbit would spring upward and land with a moist slapping noise on the up or down button, per Rick’s command. 

Rick used the sound of Ribbit’s wet white belly hitting the ground after each hop to guide him in public. Ribbit always found the clearest path through a crowd of people, in no small measure because people tended to move away from the approach of a slimy amphibian guiding a blind man.

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