Almost like a horror movie

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!”* It was true, the frog symphony outside was impressive, given how chilly it’s been. If I closed my eyes and emptied my head, it sounded like it was almost summer. “It’s weird there’s so many, already,” I continued, “when it’s been so cold.”

“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.


  1. Patricia

    I would kill to sleep with my windows open at this point. Absolutely kill for some fresh air and night noise.

  2. jen

    Have you seen the sleep coach segment on Portlandia?

  3. dad

    Dear neurotic frog detective (not sure if the adjective applies to you or the frogs):

    Take solace from the fact that our peepers here in the north are still frozen solid in their murky marshes.

    Regardless of Otto’s responses, you are scintillating.

  4. meghann @ midgetinvasion

    You know, not to make the insomnia worse or anything, but bears aren’t out of the question. A few years back we had a bear roaming around Augusta.

  5. Brigitte

    I might rather have a bear, rather than my first thought, which would be prowling psycho killer a la Halloween’s Michael Meyers. You’re welcome!

  6. Jessica (tc)

    I love, love, love hearing the frogs “singing” (as I call it) up here, but it hasn’t started yet, sadly. (I’m in Northern Minnesota.) I would give anything to have this snow melted and to hear the frogs all singing their peeper songs. *sigh* We have a pond area right across the road from our apartment complex, so on a good night we can hear them at night with our windows open at the back of the complex property. It’s a short season, but I love it. :)

    Of course, my first season up here, we also had a bear living in the woods behind our (then) apartment building. Sadly, no frogs at that building, so I can’t tell you if frogs are scared by bears (or if bears just ignore them).

  7. Chuck

    I could hear them sometimes at my apartment in Wisconsin (during the summer only of course.) Also I would hear them sometimes in Houston especially after it had been raining. Don’t remember hearing them around here any.

  8. TracyB

    I laughed so hard at this. We live on the edge of what we call a bayou. And the frogs are SO loud that if you are outside, you can’t hear yourself think. One day, I asked Hubs, “I wonder what would shut them up?” And he just shrugged not knowing what to say. So, I screamed at the top my lungs, “SHUT THE HELL UP!” Yes, I was thinking that would work. Those dang frogs never missed a beat. So then, I asked Hubs, “Can frogs hear?” He just shook his head and went inside. LOL

    I would love to know if it was a bear? Whatever it was, it apparently works and I need one. :)

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