octurnal Dementia          - 14/ 1/ 2007      <--Prev : Next-->

Nocturnal Dementia

If I am able to convince myself that the plastic bags that litter the road verges, resemble snowdrops, lilies and daffodils, they I should be perfectly able to persuade myself that the croaking of the frogs in the pond directly outside the bedroom window, resembles the melodious sound of the Heuglins Robin !!

People tell me they love the sound of frogs, they say their croaking is calming and soporific. Well, I must be one mean old cranky lady cos croaking frogs do nothing for me except to make me want to scream !!

I try to think of myself as a good, humane, civilised human being. I pat dogs, I smile and coo at babies and I help little old ladies across the street, but try as I may the civilised side of me remains dormant when the frogs start at exactly 6.45 p.m.

I know it is an exercise in futility catching them and tossing over the garden wall to the next door neighbours yard. (Next door neighbour fortunately lives in Cape Town you will be glad to know, and he has a charming pond that is just begging for frog inhabitants.)

Over the years I have undertaken a study of these entertaining little creatures. They are very similar to elephants in that they are most respectful of other amphibians who wish to use the pond.

There are usually only two in the pond at one time, with the others waiting courteously on the sidelines for their turn to swim and to croak. In most frog species only the males croak. They croak to attract female frogs for breeding, and to warn away other male frogs from their territory. Female frogs think croaking is very sexy I am told !!

Many kinds of frogs puff themselves up enormously with air when they croak. This amplifies the sounds made by the frog's vocal chords, kind of like how the stretched membrane of a drum works. This is why a little critter like a frog can make such loud noises!

Googling "How to kill frogs" is not a healthy exercise as most folk reply "Why do you want to get rid of those sweet creatures who eat so many bugs"

My grand total in one night has been eleven frogs. I have it down to a fine art now. Heehoo just shakes his head and tries to pretend I am no relation to him whatsoever. The sound of croaking does not bother him in the least but the cats and dogs love my nocturnal forays.

They are always quite happy to assist me in pin pointing the hapless toads, and are entranced by my strange inhuman like cavorting antics, as I teeter on the edge of the pond amongst the strawberry plants, falling over the reeds and dodging the golden orb spiders in my unseemly, unladylike and one track minded madness.

Of course Mother Nature always has the last word and has cunningly afflicted me with some sort of frog throwing "tennis elbow" and is it possible that my throwing arm is starting slowly to resemble that frogs leg that HeeHoo once brought home to me after a party at the French Embassy ?

However I have learned that as predictable as they are, they always start their chorus at exactly 6.45,and they also stop and go to sleep (or do what frogs do) at exactly 11 p.m.

So lets turn the telly up louder, stop mumbling incoherently under my breath, and pray for 11 o'clock !!