I have a tiny green tree frog and it brings me luck.
Laugh if you like, but it's true.
In fact, the tiny green tree frog of which I speak has had mystical powers since it was first bestowed upon me by my daughter at the tender age of three.
I discovered the little plastic replica jammed between two seat cushions in my pickup, in between a candy wrapper and a wad of discarded Gummy Bears.
"Sweetheart, you forgot your toy," I said, holding out the dime-sized frog to her as she disembarked her flowered car seat. She took it, turned it slowly in front of her face, then offered it back.
"I want you to have it, Daddy," she said sweetly, her long eyelashes batting away beneath a woolen winter cap like Cindy Lou Who from Dr. Suess's How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
If that sequence of events doesn't bestow mystical power on an inanimate object, I'm not sure what will.
So, I slipped the tattered tiny green tree frog into a front shirt pocket and plopped a kiss on my precious daughter's forehead.
"I shall cherish it forever," I told her, not fully comprehending the complete significance of the statement.
From that moment forward, the luck emanating from that tiny green tree frog has been nothing short of miraculous.
Because of its near supernatural abilities, however, I have saved the tiny green tree frog's mystical power for only the specialist of occasions.
Like hunting season.
Oh, and brook trout season.
And there was that one golf tournament with my Dad, but I am sworn to secrecy on that so as to uphold the sanctity of the match.
Anyway ... the tiny green tree frog began proving its mystical amphibian powers the very first hunting season I carried it.
The year was 2006, and I entered deer season with no more expectation than any other year. I had failed to consider, though, one serious ace in my corner. Or, more aptly, a shirtpocket hitchhiker in the form of a tiny green tree frog.
As luck would have it, the season turned out to be my best ever, starting with a slammer 140-class 11-pointer I shot with my muzzlestuffer.
I would put a lot more bucks on the carpet over the years with that tiny green tree frog in my shirtpocket, the most recent being the monster 8-pointer I shot in Manitoba this year.
The frog brought similar luck on the ponds, affording me several four and even a few five-pound class brookies.
Afterward, it became tradition to photograph the tiny green tree frog with my trophy - perched atop fin, feather or fur, whichever happened to be the quarry of the day.
Needless to say, my magic tree frog quickly became the envy of my chums at hunting camp.
So much so, they began trying to mimic the good luck charm, showing up at camp with assorted items of their own.
There was Harold with his worn teddy bear from preschool. Mike and his collection of Star Wars bobble head figures.
Then Bob showed up wearing his youngest son's water wings.
Oh how we chuckled.
My ex-wife even reported a late-night prowler going through her curbside trash receptacle, hoping my daughter had discarded something lucky ... anything.
A lollipop stick. A hair tie. A half eaten apple.
All he got, though, was a backside full of rock salt. I knew teaching her to shoot would come in handy someday. Lucky for me, it was after we parted ways.
But, back to the lucky frog.
I'm not sure how the tiny green tree frog first landed in my daughter's possession.
Perhaps it was once an enchanted galleon passed from generation to generation, originating in the time of powerful witchcraft and sorcery, of King Arthur and Camelot.
Too much of a stretch, you think?
Well, more likely it has something to do with the fact that I've carried it with me during almost every outdoor pursuit since my daughter gave it to me five years ago.
I do know one thing, though.
It definitely has more mystical power than those foolish water wings.
John Gereau is managing editor of Denton Publications and an avid outdoorsman. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.