The Frog, the Cookie, and the 6

I was handed a small bundle of treats. Sugary sweets, by the look of the strange objects resting in the palm of my hand.

There sat a porcelain white frog near my thumb, stretched out and stiff, a hard candy whose flavour reminded me of the yellow banana marshmallows I used to swallow as a child for 25c a piece. This frog was not foamy but hard to the tongue, eventually splintering on my canine to settle and stick in the gorges of my molars, sickly sweet and synthetic without much more to offer.

The cookie seemed safest, a brown dome cracked and caked with the barest amounts of granulated sugar. The size of a squat bottle cap, it too was dry and hard along with its strange bedfellows. It brought to mind the Dutch windmill cookies. There was certainly an edge of some seasoning, but the cookie was neither sweet nor spiced, with only vague gestures toward cloves, nutmeg, or almond. A functional, if tichy by my habits, cookie; it made one hope for more.

Last was the sickly green rectangular prism, another hard candy, but this thin brick was embossed with a “6” on back and front, stretching top to bottom. A forceful wave of pineapple flavour was the candy’s herald, and my teeth knew at once that it was more brother to the amphibian than stranger keeping company. A change of mold, a change of flavouring added to the candy before pouring it into shape, its presence faded into the background before long.

How far had these treats traveled? I wondered, brushing off the cookie’s errant crumbs from my hands. How much of the world had they seen, only to disappear in several curious gulps, leaving only a sticky patch where the frog and 6 had lingered too long on my palm.

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