On a cloudy night in early spring, a soft juicy egg mass was expelled into the calm shallow waters of the bayou. Nestled in the heart of the eggs was a developing tadpole who watched through the
clear membrane of his nursery as his siblings were nibbled away by the passing aquatic fare. As he grew and gained consciousness, he became aware of his place at the bottom of the food chain and was
burdened by this. His name was Dumpul.
The embryos that reached maturity burst through their eggs with the vigor of newborn life. The spring had yielded thousands of young tadpoles that settled in the silt and spread themselves
among the water plants like a wriggling carpet. None of them were as aware of their young fragility as Dumpul was, and he cried to his siblings about the dangerous beasts waiting for them. He cared
deeply for his brothers and sisters, and was very unsettled by their indifference to his presence and his warnings.
Dumpul was disturbed by the high mortality of family, and lived his young days in absolute and overwhelming terror. This terror came from the sky with hook beaks and crooked hands and the
water with gaping vacuum mouths that swallowed the nimmos tens at a time. By his fear, he lived.
He underwent the miraculous process of metamorphosis into a froglet but could not shed the emotional bruising. He remained frightful and reticent as he pulled himself out of the water. As he
took his first timid steps onto the soil, he was greeted by what he mistook to be his death standing tall over him. The beast stood as still as a cypress, her cool black eyes looked at the nimmo and reflected
his gangly body back at him. Her mouth was gaped and her pale fleshy tongue rested languidly behind her sharp yellow teeth; a mouth bigger than Dumpul had ever known before.
Guided by instinct and fear, he tried to maneuver himself out of danger. He leapt as he never had before straight into the air and twisted his small hands around a low leaf and scooted up it to the
thin stick supporting it. He pressed himself tightly to the wood and saw only the tops of trees above him. This new height felt safe to him like the dark water had when he could only swim.
Dumpul did not know that he had made it only three feet off of the ground, and to any frog that had been using their legs for more than a day, this would have been an embarrassing display of complete inadequacy for the
gene pool. Dumpul croaked softly in accomplishment.
What Dumpul has taken for death had happened to not be the least bit interested in him until he had placed himself closer to her eye level. The nearly 800 pound krawk did not sustain herself on the
meat of tiny amphibians, but she could not resist being drawn to the helpless, sticky creature. So it was at that moment that the monster known to some as an embodiment of Belligerence, more casually
called Bell, decided that Dumpul was her property.
He could never escape her, and so Dumpul came to accept and ultimately enjoy the comfort and security of Bell.
Bell is a large krawk that lives deep in the swamp. Every so often, she emerges from her skin as a biped and ventures into civilization to feed on babies and children. She is also the surprisingly gentle caretaker of Dumpul. After spending years in solitude after the extinction of her species, she was open to taking in the small nimmo and treats him with surprising tenderness.
Little Sister is a baby's sock of tragic origin that Bell gifted to Dumpul to keep him company when she has to leave him. Dumpul treats the sock like it was his living sibling, and carries it nearly everywhere he goes. He often sleeps nestled with Little Sister on Bell's back.