Beasley the young stoat kept to himself, only talking to the other stoats when hunting the local rabbit population. He enjoyed swimming in el Llobregat after a spring rain. His musical compositions were rated the highest in the summer Stoat Sun-Down Stand-Out Festival, but he would never accept the awards, as he thought it foolish and indulgent. Beasley despised the Catholic church.
Isabella the Iberian Painted Frog was the most out-going frog in her family. She was able to get all the signatures required to petition el Llobregat Hall to allow for the movement of eight stones from the west bank to the east bank. Most frogs thought this unnecessary, but Isabella thought it progress. She had a twitch in her left leg which psychologists would later attribute to the fact that she saw 78 of her brothers and sisters tragically eaten by a drunk raccoon. Isabella had only seen Flags of Our Fathers once.
Beasley and Isabella fell in love.
Bi-class relationships were not looked kindly on in both the stoat and Iberian Painted Frog species. There had been one instance of Antone the Iberian Painted Frog. After a heavy night of drinking (which oddly enough was the same night of the Drunk Raccoon Massacre), Antone had a one night stand with Maria the Spotted Fire Salamander, a self-proclaimed slut. Antone was given a public ribbit beating. However, the punitive action was more a formality. Everyone loved Antone’s antics and enjoyed any opportunity to gather on the new East Bank Rock Amphitheater (formally the West Bank Rock Amphitheater) for entertainment. And Antone, even in his drunken stupor, had the sense to stay in the Amphibia class.
Shunned from their communities, Beasley and Isabella found themselves running away to the city. To make ends meat, Beasley took up a job as an entry level IT guy at Vitelcom, and would play the night clubs on the weekend to make some extra cash. Isabella got a job at Solidario Cooperación al Desarrollo Global, a nonprofit organization. She made phone calls all day. She found time for a Bikram yoga class once a week.
Even though they were poor, they were happy. They had each other. They made dinner together every night; they watched a Clint Eastwood movie every Friday; they played Cranium with the neighbors every Tuesday; and every night before they fell asleep they whispered to each other “I love you.” Beasley and Isabella went on like this for two years, loving every minute of it.
However, Isabella wasn’t getting any younger and her biological clock was ticking. She wanted a family, and Beasley wanted to oblige her. They got rid of all their contraceptives and pills, and for eight months, every night, they made baby-making love.
By the eighth month, they were discouraged. Isabella wasn’t pregnant. They had tried every position, eaten all the right things; they even performed a sexual ritual on the summer solstice, giving themselves to Eros. But as Isabella saw the negative sign appear on her EPT in that eighth month, tears filled her eyes. She and Beasley realized they needed medical help.
Dr. Phelps sat down with Beasley and Isabella with a worried look on his face, the test results in his hand. He slowly started, “I’m sorry Beasley and Isabella, but I’m afraid you can’t have children.”
Isabella immediately started crying, licking her eyeballs furiously. As Beasley held her, he asked, “What’s the problem, doctor? Is it me? Am I sterile?”
“No. You’re fine. And Isabella is fine too. You’re both very healthy. It’s just that…well…you’re not fine for each other.”
In anger, Isabella slapped Dr. Phelps with her tongue, and Beasley hissed, showing his sharp teeth. “I thought we left narrow minded thinking in the country!” Beasley yelled.
“No! No! No! You don’t understand,” said Dr. Phelps, rubbing his sore cheek. “Your chromosomes don’t match.”
“What?” asked Isabella.
“Your chromosomes don’t match. You’re a frog, Isabella. You have 28 chromosomes. You’re a stoat, Beasley. You have 40 chromosomes. You can’t mate.”
“YOU CAN’T MATE!” screamed Isabella. “Get on, Beasley. We’re leaving!” And with that Isabella hopped out of the doctor’s office with Beasley on her back.
Even though they didn’t want to accept it, they knew it was true. They couldn’t have children. And from that point on, nothing was the same. Beasley had to work later hours at Vitelcom, and he’d often stay out late at the night clubs drinking. Isabella got highly political, putting all her efforts into campaigning for progressive candidate, Antonio Cruz. Shared dinners started slipping away. Their Netflixed “The Bridges of Madison County” was left unopened and unwatched on top of their TV, and the Cranium clay hardened.
One night, Beasley came home late, drunk from the club. Isabella was fast asleep. She had to get up early for a press conference with Antonio. Beasley stood over her as she slept, watching her breathe.
“Hey, get up,” slurred Beasley. “Get up!”
“What is it?” Isabella asked, annoyed.
“Get up. Dance with me.”
“I have to get up early.”
“Dance with me!”
And with that, Beasley ate Isabella. Isabella’s last thoughts were of her 78 brothers and sisters.
No one ever saw Beasley again after that night. Some say that once in awhile, while hiking in Galicia, one can hear “Canción de Isabel,” a song Beasley composed and was playing when he and Isabella first met.
MORAL OF THE STORY: Watch “Life” on the Discovery Channel, Sundays, starting at 8pm EST. It’s awesome.