Last night Otto and I were lying in bed after a very long day. Usually that’s when we have our best conversations, you know—side by side in the dark, chatting about nothing and everything just before we drift off for the night. But on those long, hard days, we just kind of sink into the silence and both try to pretend sleep is coming.
“Well,” I said, finally, desperate to find a bright spot before the inevitable next few hours of insomnia, “at least spring is coming! Listen to all of those peepers!”
“Yeah,” agreed Otto. My conversational opening had been scintillating, clearly.
We continued listening, and then… it stopped. I don’t mean it trailed off, I mean one minute there was PEEPpeepPEEPPEEPpeepPEEP and the next minute: dead silence.
“What happened?” I said, my voice dropping to a whisper without conscious intention. “Why’d they stop? Why did they ALL stop? That’s weird, right?”
Poor Otto, he just wanted to sleep and he had no idea he’d married a neurotic frog detective.
“Maybe there’s a BEAR!” I said. “Do bears eat frogs? Are frogs afraid of bears??”
“Maybe there’s a feral neighborhood cat,” Otto answered, with a sigh. That made more sense, I guess. Still, that transition from cacophony to silence was unnerving. Then again, I pretty much find everything unnerving these days. “One time,” Otto murmured, rolling over, “we were home… and there was a BEAR!”
That made me laugh. And one by one, the peepers started up again.
*If you’re a city slicker or otherwise confused by “peepers”, they sound like this.