Thursday, September 01, 2005


Last night while out on the deck before bed as usual to take a look at the stars, trying to spot at least one star, or maybe Venus, through the clouds and get a sense of cloud direction and tomorrow’s weather, whether it was going to rain around here tonight, should I cover the motorcycle and tuck in the firewood?

As I was pondering these things, a loud smushy splat whonnggged through the deck, sort of like the sound of giant thumb plinking a watermelon as big as a car. Since it was dark as not even starlight, I stood there wondering what in the world the noise had been, when there was another whonnggg. I went inside and got a flashlight.

Shining it around on the deck I saw nothing but two little frogs, just a couple of centimeters long, who couldn’t have caused that big sound, until another little frog came plunging off the wall from apparently high up enough to give him a kinetic mass sufficient to resound on the deck boards if struck just right, and who is a greater master of just-right jumping and the nuances of impact than the tree frog?

They climb the wall in search of the bugs that are attracted by our lights, and I suppose when they have gotten their fill (and acquired quite a bit of bulk) they take the quickest way down, striking the long boards flat-on like wet green bullets. And from the way they just sit there grinning afterward, not hopping around in circles saying Ow! Ow!Ow! I have to conclude that they really get a charge out of this dangerous bungee-cordless sport on these last summer nights before their long sleep in the mud, where there's no excitement at all.

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