The Wooden Frog

I’m on vacation at the beach this week staying at one of my favorite places right on the Rehoboth Beach boardwalk, Star of the Sea. We have stayed here may times over the past five years or so and I always look forward to returning.

For those of you who don’t know, I (like the God character in Dogma) am a skeeball junkie. I love old fashion arcades and Rehoboth beach happens to be the home of one of my all time favorite arcades.

Now for the real story….

Every year we’ve come to Star of the Sea, there’s been a wooden frog in the lobby leading out to the boardwalk. The first time we stayed, we discovered through mere curiosity that the wooden frog was hollow and you could remove his top to reveal a shallow bowl. It was empty and it gave me an idea; I decided we’d leave something in the frog as a gift for the next curious explorer, most likely a child.

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My first thought was a treasure map leading to a small buried/hidden treasure, but later decided that really wasn’t a practical thing as the bearer of the map might not be the first to discover the stash. I opted instead to leave arcade tickets.

This in itself was completely within my character as my arcade winnings are rarely, if ever, redeemed for prizes. It is my tradition to give away the tickets before leaving the arcade to a child. It’s actually my favorite part of going to the arcade; getting to see a child’s face light up when they realize that I want to give them my tickets.

Ever since that first year, upon our arrival at Star of the Sea, we’ve checked the frog to see what loot others may have stashed there. I’m fairly certain that almost every time we’ve found something in the frog. Always some sort of anonymous gift.

This year, we discovered several pieces of what appear to be play money and various other items.

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This year, we discovered a little note card sitting next to the frog simply saying, “Take one, Leave one.” Perhaps management or the cleaning service have clued in on the game their patrons like to play.

Our trip to the arcade this morning has now supplied our newest contribution to the anonymous wooden frog. A ticket slip from the arcade will be found by the next set of curious little fingers to explore the frog in the lobby.

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I have no idea if we were the first to begin what has become this tradition of paying it forward, but to those who continue to participate, I thank you. It’s nice to see that there are still small treasures in this world to be found if you are curious enough to go looking.

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