It Was Loud

Tiny ToadIt was loud.

It was close.

It was frightening.

And last summer while the grandchildren (and their parents) were here, we all heard it at the same time. It was obviously organic – from some kind of living being but it sounded like nothing we had ever heard before.

The sound was a cross between fingernails across a blackboard and the noise made by an asthmatic cat crying out in pain. And it was loud!

The children jumped and ran close to me for protection but I was as frightened as they. After hearing it several times for two or three seconds at a time we started wondering what kind of monster it could possibly be. I said that it was a cicada or another winged insect. For one thing, the noise seemed to bounce around the patio. When we’d move to one side to investigate, the sound seemed to shift to the other side. It was definitely a flighted creature big enough to emit such as sound, but fast or stealth enough to evade our approach.

Finally Brileigh said, “I fink it’s a big fwog.” Crosby pounded on the downspout and mocked its call – hoping to force it out.

For weeks we speculated and searched for the culprit with no results and no further assumption. The kids remained solid in their opinion. It was a fwog. I maintained the cicada theory.

Finally, one late summer evening, about the time the kids were being tucked into bed, I heard the loathsome sound and got a renewed vigor to identify the sound once and for all.

With flashlight in hand I cautiously ventured out. I waited for the thing to call out again and each time it did, I would follow it. Finally, at the edge of our backyard pool, I saw it. It was a frog just like Brileigh had insisted.

But it was tiny – no bigger than the end of my thumb! How could something so small make so much noise?

I grabbed a Mason jar from the pantry and went out to capture him so that the children could see him the next day.

“See, I told it was a fwog,” was Brileigh’s response. Crosby just mimicked the frog’s call again. In a few minutes we released Mr. Tiny Toad into the wild and didn’t hear from him again…until today. There he was (or a relative of his) back for another summer of taunts.

A tiny creature with a huge voice. I can relate.

Having grown up in a generation where children were seen and not heard, I can definitely relate. And I was the youngest in the family so I was constantly jockeying for position. Sometimes out of frustration I’d wail or yell but most of the time that was met with great disdain. It didn’t stop me from screaming but it put distance between outbursts. Then finally I stopped making noise altogether. Oh, I still had something to say but rarely found a receptive audience. S0 I went silent.

I think that’s why I’m a writer now. I have something to say (maybe not profound or even memorable). Whether I’m read or not doesn’t matter. At least now I have a place to speak my mind. On paper. On a blog. In a book or lyric.

Got something to say but nowhere to say it? Write it down. Journal. Blog. Complete a survey -anything that provides you an outlet to express what’s in your heart.

Hey, it’s cheaper than therapy.

1 thought on “It Was Loud

  1. Sondra Rice

    Nan, you are definitely “being read”. Wouldn’t miss a one. Thanks for including me on your list.



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