Fan Belts

   “What’s that racket?” I holler into my Skype headset. “I can hardly hear you.”

“Frogs.”

“What?”

“Frogs. They’re all over the place.”

“Frogs!? You’ve got to be kidding.”

“Day and night. Welcome to the tropics in the off season.”

A few weeks later, we go to visit our daughter. She wasn’t exaggerating. Frogs! Little ones, big ones, some the size of a man’s palm, float in the pool, climb the walls, hover on the screens—a croaking cacophony of squeaky fan belts.
We fish them out of the pool with the skimmer, knock them off the walls with a broom. The cat, watching from her perch on the outer wall, refuses to have anything to with them. The dog retreats each time one comes near.

“Damn. There’s a frog in here,” I say to my husband as we prepare for bed. We search the room.

“Maybe it’s on the wall outside,” he says.

We venture out, armed with flashlights. No frog in sight, but the fan-belt squeak is loud and clear. In the room again, we peer into cupboards, climb on chairs to check the high shelves. Nothing.

“Must be on the roof and we’re hearing the echo of his screech through the service channels,” I say. Satisfied with that conclusion, we climb into bed.

A thump on my head jolts me awake. I scream and reach for the light switch. A frog clings to the wall just above my head.

“Get me a Kleenex,” my husband says.

“He’s huge. You can’t catch him with a Kleenex.”

I fetch a plastic bag. My husband puts it over his hand and reaches for the frog. The frog leaps. We both jump.

“Holy shit, he’s fast. Where’d he go?”

“There.” I point to the opposite wall. The frog had leapt at least twelve feet.

Prepared this time, my husband moves fast, traps the frog against the wall, encloses him in the bag, ties it, tosses the bag in the garbage can, and snaps the lid on. “I’ll release him in the morning.”

I rub my head where I can still feel the rubbery thud, get up and wash my hair. Back in bed, I eventually fall asleep. An hour later we hear the frog squeaking. I flip on the light half expecting to see the garbage can jumping across the floor. This time my husband puts the frog out in the yard and I shove a couple of towels under the door just to be safe. I don’t sleep a whole lot that night.

Photo courtesy: Christina Stobbs

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17 comments on “Fan Belts

  1. 🙂 I think they’re OK in the daytime, when you can see the darn things. Ugh, I don’t blame you for washing your hair. Lordy, we’re delicate blossoms, aren’t we!

  2. I used to play with frogs when I was a kid. How times have changed. Are we living in too sterile a world to appreciate the interesting things of life?

  3. Love your blog Darlene – thanks for sending me the link. Frogs – I’m with you girl – I would have been out of there soooooo fast! I’ll take snow and cold any day rather than frogs! A “friend” put one in my sleeping bag, initiating me to girl guide camping (aged 10-11)…. I still shiver with that thought.

  4. Hi Darlene,
    Just catching up on your stories. They are wonderful! Jilli (and I) love frogs. We babysat some last year that Mike rescued in a drain at work. Set up an aquarium and fed them crickets until releasing them in the spring. She cried when she had to say goodbye to Hootie, Bloatie, and Mr. Sticky. Though I wonder how she’d feel about them after an experience like yours!

  5. Pingback: Invasion of the critters aided and abetted by the rescue kitten | DARLENE JONES

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