Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

by Annie Dillard

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In "Pilgrim at Tinker Creek", what is the shrinking frog compared to?

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Annie Dillard compares the shrinking frog to a deflating football, bright scum on top of the water, a pricked balloon, and a kicked tent.

She meets the frog in the first essay in the book, "Heaven and Earth in Jest." She enjoys scaring the frogs so that they run from her. However, she stops when she sees one sitting motionless, half in and half out of the water. His eyes are dull, and even when she kneels beside him, he doesn't move.

He dies in front of her. She says that his skull goes back into his body like a kicked tent. He shrinks like a deflating football. His skin sags and collapses like a pricked balloon. Once he seems to be only made up of skin, she says his skin sits there like bright scum on top of the water.

She realizes that the frog was being sucked on and eaten by a giant water bug.

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