Rain of Frogs
It’s been raining hard here. Gwyn and I went into a restaurant at around 6:30 yesterday evening, and when we emerged at 8:30 the rain was so heavy that I couldn’t see across the parking lot, except during the brief and brilliant flashes of lightning. Last night, after we got something like four inches of rain in two hours, there was a calm period between thunderstorms. Standing at the patio door, we could hear a steady, throbbing noise coming from across the fields in the direction of the river. We realized it was frogs–dozens, maybe hundreds, singing into the wetness.
This morning it’s still raining, and the frogs are still croaking for all they’re worth. They must be down by the river, nearly a mile away, and that makes the sheer noise of them all the more remarkable. It wierds me out a little. I was first reminded of a creepy and violent little short story by Stephen King called “Rainy Season,” from his collection Nightmares and Dreamscapes. I first heard it read by Yeardley Smith on an audiobook. The rain in that story brings frogs with razor-sharp teeth to hunt and eviscerate the hapless protagonists.
But the better, though not much less disturbing, poem that has finally lodged in my head is by the great Seamus Heaney. He reads it for you here.
Stay dry. Avoid frogs.
(addendum: I have edited this post to correct my mistyping of “the great Seamus Heaney” as “the geat Seamus Heaney.” But, on reflection, the first way may have been an unconcious homage to Heaney’s masterful translation of Beowulf. Probably it was just a typo, though.)