Darkness has finally come, but with its cloak the coolness it usually brings remains evasive. Instead the sticky fingers of humidity continue to plague every inch of my body – not even leaving my scalp untouched by their nastiness.
I sit on the back porch, sipping my iced water, waiting patiently for the arrival of my latest nightly disturbance. The yellow bucket with its lid firmly in place waits at my feet.
Thirty minutes have passed, and my glass is empty. I don’t want to go and replenish it, for fear that I may miss my annoying visitors. Three nights of disturbed sleep is enough. Tonight they are mine!
And just when I begin to grow sufficiently bored enough to consider throwing in the towel, there’s a rustling in the leaves on the other side of the small space that I call my backyard. As small as that space is, there is not sufficient light to cover it all – and I find myself squinting in the darkness in the vicinity of the noises. A few more minutes of waiting and I am rewarded with a movement I can now see, as the little frog hops into the light.
I move slowly, removing the lid quietly from the bucket – and with lid in one hand and the bucket in the other, I make my approach. After a few small squeals and jumps (me, not the frog) I manage to get the bucket in position and that nuisance frog jumps on in. The lid is quickly placed on top and I feel a proud sense of accomplishment.
Then all of a sudden, there’s a brush of something ever so briefly on my foot. I look down, captured frog now jumping helplessly against the lid of the bucket, only to see another little one hopping around my feet. More squeals, and this time a giant leap away, and I am staring in confusion. What to do with the other one? I guess I didn’t think this through.
Some instructions shouted to my son through his open bedroom window, without taking my eyes off the still free culprit, and my son appears with his dustbin and a book. He doesn’t stay to help, because ‘frogs are just creepy’. It takes longer to catch this one, but I manage. I just don’t have it in me to open the bucket and throw it in with its friend. I also don’t have it in me to leave them as they are overnight. And I certainly can’t kill them.
So I make the long walk in the darkness to the main gate of our housing complex, and throw the newest capture out. Then it’s back to my house to fetch the bucket and walk that frog over to where its friend has just been dumped. I release it too – and the two of them hop off down the road.
But here’s what I know….they’ll come back. Frogs are like something from a Stephen King novel. They always come back. So when they keep me awake in a couple of nights time, I shall begin the whole procedure again.
Yes, I said I will do the whole thing again…but this time, hopefully, I’ll remember to do it in broad daylight and I’ll be able to drive them down to the other side of town.
The error in that grand plan is this : The last time I did that in November last year with a much larger frog, he still found his way back. (He has since disappeared!) He didn’t get run over by a car crossing the great big Main Road to return to my garden either. How!?!? Stephen King novel, my friends, Stephen King novel!