“It’s gibberish… it doesn’t sound like anything to me,” Claire declared.
“Shhh! I’m trying to listen!” Freddie replied as he continued to scribble in the little green pocket notebook he always carried with him.
Claire let out a very loud sigh and sat back on the park bench and folded her arms, obviously annoyed. Up to that point, the date had been going quite well. Claire had had her initial reservations about accepting Freddie’s invitation- he wasn’t exactly her type. But her horoscope that day said to ‘accept an unusual offer and unexpected happiness would reward those who were brave’ so here she was, on a first date with the new graphic designer from her office, despite the ‘creepy’ vibe he put out. As she looked over at her date, who was now squatting in the wet grass with his ear pointed towards the lake, Claire made a mental note to delete the horoscope app off her phone as soon as possible.
“Why was it that there was always something, something about every man she had dated in the last few years that was an immediate deal breaker? Was it her? Was she becoming too picky, a cynic destined to be an old maid? Maybe she just needed to lighten up, try to open her mind a little” Claire mulled the idea over a little. Deciding it couldn’t hurt matters, she walked over to where her date still crouched in the grass.
“What was that? One more time, if you please? Biddy? Oh! Baby! Yes, now I got it.”
Claire couldn’t believe what she was seeing; Freddie was actually talking to the frogs. By the sounds of it, he was engaged in a complete conversation with them!
“That’s it!” Claire blurted out. “I’m outta here!” and without another word she tromped back up to the sidewalk and took off towards her car.
“Well, that was awkward, sorry about her. Now, where were we?” Freddie said into the humid night air. As if in reply to his question, the chorus of frogs began their chorus of croaking and chirping almost immediately. For years, Freddie had dedicated a large portion of his life to unearthing the truth behind the urban conspiracy theory that basically claimed that during the cold war, Russia had somehow used bullfrogs to pass codes through enemy lines. The theory claimed that Russian scientists were able to engineer the frogs to learn a static amount of words and then repeat them on demand when a key word was spoken. There weren’t many who put any stock into this theory, and only a few, like Freddie, took it seriously enough to investigate.
It had been, more or less, a hobby for Freddie, a way to combine his love of amphibians with his tendency to get caught up in conspiracy. But he had had a breakthrough tonight while walking around the lake with his date. Claire taking off was regrettable, but it paled in the wake of his discovery. He had found a way to understand the frogs, and more- to talk back to them. He had so much work to do, so many things to prepare! Finally, he had validation for all those years spent hovering over his frog tanks and habitats.
HEADLINE OF THE NEXT DAY’S NEWSPAPER:
Missing for 31 Days, Mentally-Disabled Man Found Talking with Frogs- Ending Search
The Not So Fantastic Reality:
The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:
ONE: After gorging ourselves on some delicious Hibachi, Andy and I thought it might do us all some good to take the dogs for a walk. Following a pretty thorough soaking from a recent thunderstorm, the evening was actually quite nice as we strolled around a small lake nearby. As we reached a certain point of the lake we were overcome by the singing of what must have been hundreds of frogs on the shore of the lake. So as we continued to walk we started to guess at what they were saying. I personally heard what sounded like, “Baby, Baby, Baby!”, “ME, ME , ME!”, “Beep, Beep, Beep!” and something that sounded like the impersonation of an alarm clock. It was a fun little game and I thought it would be neat to take it to the next level… not sure if you’ve noticed, but that’s kinda my thing.
Love & Squirrels.