Froggy Fever

One sunny day, my husband and I, spring fever victims, rode our tandem bicycle past wetlands.

A hallelujah chorus of spring peepers nearly deafened us. Soggy Froggy City posted record decibel levels. Had these amphibians gone high-tech, renting rock-concert sound systems?

After compiling the results of a survey I sent them, however, I’m convinced frogs are musical purists who not only sing without artificial amplification, they don’t even open their mouths. Instead, they balloon their necks.

Unlike most human choirs, the majority are males.

These guys don’t waste words or melodies. They not only establish territories and predict weather changes with their songs, they also romance their ladies. Listening to their impassioned harmony, I wished I could understand the lyrics.

Then, remembering current Top 40 titles, I gave thanks I didn’t.

I’m not so enthralled with peeper music that I’d pay $75 to buy a frog online.

Nor would I pay $10 for flour beetles culture to balance his nutrition pyramid. I’ve paid more to get rid of such “cultures.”

Owners concerned about their pets’ boring diets can buy frog bites which, according to the Arizona Dendrobate Ranch, “add variety to a young amphibian’s diet.”

Many devotees will attend California’s American Frog Day. They’ll revel in frog symphonies, bet on jumping contests, even purchase driveway signs: “Frog Parking Only. All Others Will Be Toad.”

However, in 2002, the BBC did not consider frogs a joking matter. Intense headlines implied that killer bullfrogs had attacked Great Britain. Having eaten Parliament, they were last seen headed for Buckingham Palace.

Further reading, however, revealed that the bullfrogs, an American threat mistakenly imported in batches of water plants, were devouring fish and other small critters. Not a national disaster. But something else for which Europe can blame us.

If frogs from South/Central America invaded their territory, they might have reason to gripe. Poisonous frogs abound there, and those who flaunt the loudest wardrobes — gold, blue, orange, and black-and-yellow-striped — present the greatest threat. The poison dart frog of South America, Phyllobates terribilis, is arguably the most dangerous animal in the world. This little golden frog resembles a kindergartener’s eraser. But according to the University of Georgia EcoView, its slime is 400 times as toxic to a laboratory mouse as a king cobra’s venom.

For those who adore poison dart frog songs but prefer long life spans, CDs of their calls can be purchased online.

Me? I’ll stick to live, free concerts by less flashy, Midwestern types who stay in their swamps, go to bed on time and only give us an occasional wart.

Describe your favorite frog encounter. Or, like biblical Pharaoh, do you consider them a plague?

  • Spring Peeper photo by Joshua Derck, Photo By <a target=’_blank’ href=’’>Joshua Derck</a> via <a href=”” target=”_blank”></a>
  • Bullfrog photo by Kevin Vance, Photo By <a target=’_blank’ href=’’>Kevin Vance</a> via <a href=”” target=”_blank”></a>

4 thoughts on “Froggy Fever

  1. Carolyn jones

    Hi Rachel. My favorite frog encounter happened in a second grade classroom about eight years ago. A child brought two frogs ( actually toads) to school for show and tell. When his turn came, the frogs were unexpectedly clasped in the mating posture. One child exclaimed, “That frog had four eyes!” Others were puzzled by the strange sight. One child could barely contain his answer to the seemingly glued amphibians. After all speculations were shared I reluctantly called on the child prepared to offer a seven year olds version of sex education. To my surprise and delight Seth said, ” I know, Mrs. Jones. They’re playing leap frog!”

    1. rachael Post author

      Hahahahaha! Carolyn, thank you for giving me a belly laugh today! You really should collect all these teacher moments in a book! I imagine when Seth one day is explaining the birds and the bees and the froggies to his own children, he’ll be haunted by that day 🙂

      Thanks again for sharing your hilarious comment. May the Lord remind you of more fun moments like these.

  2. Doris Kelly

    One of my funny frog episodes came when one rode on our front bumper. He rode from Cass-hop-olis to an exit near Frankenmuth, where we stopped for gas, found him, and deposited him in a ditch. I wrote a little story about his ride in a tiny little book.
    The second one was when a friend of mine showed me her frog collection. Quite normal examples of great froggish art and statuary decorated her shelves. Then she showed me her very favorite frog of all in an envelope. A flattened frog/toad a friend had sent her from the parking lot of Mount Rushmore. Hysterical and historical. Thought I’d never stop laughing.

    1. rachael Post author

      Frampton the Frog! I remember that story, Dori! Such a hoot 🙂 If you still have it, I’d love to read it to my grandkids.

      Your friend keeps flattened frogs–maybe from the White House, too?! Or the Vatican??!! Thank your this historical, hysterical moment!


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