The professor stood frozen in her orange sherbet long dress in front of a small statue of dark green frog standing in perfectly balanced Tree Pose with her hands folded in front of her heart in prayer while her entire head was thrown up to the sky in a broad laughing smile.
DELIGHTFUL! the professor proclaimed out loud, startling a chubby woman who was holding up a package of off-label gummy worms in a patriotic Halloween package.
I love it, she said again, under her breath, pet the statue twice, rubbed its stomach and walked away when her name was called over the loud speaker.
After eating her eggs and such and rounding up children and other normal lunch things she went back to the gift shop and stared at the frog again.
It was like meeting an old friend, a new friend, a friend she had been waiting for. Seeing it made her smile, laugh, shake her head.
Again she said, Delightful!, this time only in her heart, in the place where you know if something or someone fits like a key or not.
This was love -- frog love -- immediate and perfect.
And because she loved the frog so much, and because the professor was so damn wise, she turned right on her heels and walked right out of Cracker Barrel, past the windchimes and rocking chairs and awkwardly parked 4 door Buicks.
The professor didn't stop until she got safely in her car, strapped herself in and drove away as fast as she could.