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.