When we were reading the Frog and Toad story, Alone, by Arnold Lobel, the most important part for me was when we talked about metaphor. Metaphor is when something which seems ordinary is really something grand. In Alone, Toad is upset. His best friend, Frog, leaves him a note saying he wants to be alone. In his great upset, Toad searches for Frog everywhere. At the end of his quest (a quest is a grand journey where you seek something important), Toad discovers Frog sitting on an island in the stream.
The island in the stream is a metaphor! If it were just an island in the story then it would just be a wet rock. It is more than a wet rock. It is a metaphor for solitude. Solitude means being alone because you want to be alone. Not lonely alone but good alone. The island in Alone is a metaphor for the place we all need when we need to just be quiet and by ourselves.
When we read this story, I thought that I need an island like that too. I have younger sisters who share my room and sometimes they seem like Toad. They are easily upset. They are twins so when one gets upset the other does too. It is as if Frog had two Toads who always want to be with him and never leave him alone. The note would never have worked with two Toads. One would read it and cry and the other would already be tracking Toad down. So I have made an island of solitude in the corner of the bedroom I share with my sisters.
My island of solitude is made with some pieces of wood my dad put together for me. My mom sewed a cover from pale blue cloth. When the light comes through the blue it is like being in a cloud – it is a floating island. When the cloth door is rolled down, then my twin sisters know that I am in my floating island of solitude. The door is my note - I am Frog, alone in my island.
I love this story because it showed me that you can make metaphors in your life. Someone might say that I just have a blue box in our room. But they would be missing the grand metaphor.