Murderer of the Frog
The music a choir of tiny spring peepers can sing is amazingly loud. So loud in fact my dog pauses to look out over the swamp with a puzzled look on his face when he hears them. I can almost hear him thinking, "What on earth is that noise?" To one person’s ears the sound of frogs singing or croaking can be music and to another it may be noise. Every spring when I hear the spring peepers I think about a particular guest we once had.
This person had never been out on a Boundary Waters canoe camping trip. He was from Chicago where sounds like airplanes buzzing overhead, trucks jake braking and car alarms are expected. Most people who live there don’t look up into the sky if they hear an airplane like we do up here.
When we see a plane it’s a bigger deal. In fact if you look in our newspaper from last week you’ll see someone reported an airplane circling up here. It just isn’t a common sight and If a car alarm goes off up here it means someone actually took their keys out of their car and that’s strange too.
We sent the man and his paddling partner on their merry way one day and the next day the two men were back. They were supposed to be out for a four day trip. We wondered what had happened… Had we forgotten to pack something, was someone sick or injured? Questions popped into our heads one after another until we approached them and asked why they had returned.
"It was too noisy out there." one of the men replied.
In shock we said, "Was there a loud, rowdy group out there?"
"No." "There was a damn frog and he wouldn’t quit croaking."
We chuckled but quit abruptly when he didn’t crack a smile. "Oh, a frog?"
"Yes, it wouldn’t shut the hell up and it was driving me crazy." he said.
Astonished we didn’t really know what to say. "Oh."
"Yeah so I finally got up out of my tent and I found a rock and searched and searched until I found that frog and then I smashed it and killed it."
To this we had no idea what to say. We asked if they wanted to spend the rest of their time in a cabin instead of camping but they were ready to go home. The sound of the frog was just too much for him to handle.
So as I listen to the music of the spring peepers or any other woodland creature, I think of how it is music to my ears and how it could be something entirely different to someone else’s ears. I’m content to listen to that kind of music any day.