Little Green Fingers

Some time ago, we discussed here whether or not fish had shoulders. We won’t rehash that one now. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, click here. Now I have another similar question regarding frogs. Do they have hands?
I’m sure I have spoken here in the past about my disdain for small, quick, jumpy creatures that can get on me before I realize what has happened. This usually results in a sort of guttural growl of panic that escapes my lips immediately followed by the dance I’ll refer to as the “GET IT OFF ME” dance. There is much flailing of limbs and a fair amount of gnashing of teeth until I’m certain that whatever was on me has been shaken or violently knocked off  by one of said flailing limbs.
Back to the frog. The neighborhood that I live in is right next to the river. In and around the river there are lots of frogs. LOTS of frogs. Anytime there is a good rain, these multitudes of frogs decide that it is a good time to go for a walk, or hop, into the streets of my neighborhood. If you drive around my neighborhood after such a rain, you will be serenaded by the sound of popping under your tires. Who knew frogs literally popped like balloons when you run over them. How I’ve missed that all my life, I don’t know. A bit macabre, I know, but it gives you an idea of how many frogs are out and about.
About two weeks ago, I decided to go out for a run around 8 p.m. or so, probably about a half-hour after one of these rain storms ended. It was when I was walking down the driveway on the side of my house with my headphones on and the cord dangling down about mid-thigh that I felt it. It didn’t really register at first. But on the third or fourth time I realized that something heavier than the cord from a set of headphones was bumping against my leg. I looked down and much to my chagrin I saw a frog, not a tree frog, but the other kind of frog, a regular frog I suppose, hanging from my headphone cord by his little frog hands. At least they looked like hands. He looked up at me as he swung back out away from my leg for what would prove to be the final time. It was at that moment that we made eye contact. Probably the way that the guy who does the catching on the flying trapeze does with the catchee when he realizes they are about to have an unfortunate parting of the ways. Except there was no safety net for Kermit. There was only the side of my house as my right arm sent him flying into the bricks. It didn’t sound like it felt good. If you take your hand and slap the back of your thigh, then you’ll have a pretty good idea of the sound a frog makes when he flies awkwardly into a brick wall.
I’m not necessarily what you would call a “big” man, though I am bigger than average and I used to weigh in at a rotund 240 lbs. A friend and I were once discussing what we like to think we’d do if we were ever on an airplane and someone tried to hijack it the way the 9/11 hijackers did. His comment was along the lines of “If I start crying then the hijacker better watch out because the only thing more dangerous than an angry big man is a scared big man.” I thought it to be a rather profound statement with at least some basis in truth. If you don’t believe me, ask the frog what he heard, saw, and felt on that fateful day. He’ll probably say that he was simply trying to do some chin-ups when he heard something that sounded Chewbacca choking on a peanut shell and before he knew what was happening, he had taken off like a rocket, smashed into a wall, and found himself lying half-conscious on the ground while being beckoned to “come toward the light.”
I don’t know if Mr. Frog survived his wild ride or not but I’ve learned that those of us who fear these horrific creatures must be especially vigilant following a rainstorm. Now I’m just hope I don’t have a wart outbreak on my thigh.
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6 thoughts on “Little Green Fingers

  1. Well well well Thad, you have done it again. You have raised one of my eyebrows in jest and made wonder aloud much to the dismay of my Admin – “So do frogs have hands”? She merely smiled, giggled a little and then went about her day. Not me my friend, I had to know the answer and so the quest was begun. Along the way, I learned a lot about our little four legged (yep, that’s a clue) friends. Some things were just quite amazing, like did you know the smallest frog comes from Brazil, the Gold Frog and measures in at less than a centimeter? While the largest frog known is the Goliath Frog tipping the scales at 7lbs. Something tells me that you would have screamed like a girl had that one been hanging on your earphones. Truth is, I would too Thad.Something else that was interesting is there actually is a frog that says “ribbit”, it’s the Pacific Tree Frog. However the Spring Peeper has a high pitched whistle, I guess if he weren’t peeping around in the spring when people have their windows open, he might be the one to say ribbit.A group of frogs, much like you have described as taking over your neighborhood after a nice rain is called an Army. That came as no surprise, as I have seen them march on our neighborhood as well. So I guess the next time you hear that popping sound under your tires, your “popping the Army”.All of them lay eggs although frogs lay theirs in a mass, and toads are the ones that we see in ponds and pools that are laid in “strings”, that was something I didn’t know, yet my fish in our pond absolutely love them.For me, it’s the American Bullfrog. We have a couple around our pond, 4” long and then add in the legs and you’re talking an 8” to 9” spread. Talk about a guttural noise, that low tone croaking at night sitting by the pond and listening to the waterfall is about as relaxing as it gets. Alas Thad, and without further ado, none of them have hands or fingers. They all have feet and toes. Now you will find reference to hands and fingers on the internet, but that’s the folks like you and me talking. The people that study frogs, called Herpetologists of all things, all agree feet and toes only on toads and frogs. So while it may have appeared that one of your many small nemesis creatures was ‘grasping’, he only really had a toe in it.

  2. Thad,I came back for another post about little green frogs, or screaming jack-o-lanterns, or maybe purple worms! But I believe you've been busy with other things. Come on, I need another good laugh about seemingly harmless critters.

  3. Smith…I am working on one even as we speak! I had it almost finished today, went to lunch, came back and signed on and apparently the autosave was working because all I had was the first line I had typed. It isn't about a creature but I hope you will like it anyway. Should be up tomorrow sometime. Thanks for reading and especially for your comments!

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