Friday, October 21, 2011

The Night of the Frogs

I was lying on my cot in my hogan. The darkness of the northern Arizona desert lay around me. No light came through the smoke hole from the overcast sky. In the stillness I heard a strange, worrying sound. Aaa-haaa. Aaa-haaa. Aaa-haaa. Like heavy breathing. Like someone standing outside the door. Like the man who was said to wander home drunk every night, past my hogan. Definitely him. Standing outside my door, breathing heavily. Deciding whether or not to break down my door. I slowly turned to ice. I was frozen in fear. Helpless. No, not helpless, said a small voice. You can get up and see who’s standing at the door. Better to face the fear than die of fright. Really? Well, all right. I stood up. I opened the door. I heard the sound more clearly. Everywhere around me. Frogs. Thousands of frogs, mating in the puddles left by recent rains. And laughing at me, standing on my doorstep, feeling foolish. Aaa-haaa. Aaa-haaa. Aaa-haaa.

(This happened several years ago, when I was teaching on the Navajo reservation. It has always amused me and reminded me how our imaginations can play tricks on us.)


  1. Scary and funny! Great, surprising reveal at the end. Aaa-haaa!

  2. Hahahaha. Frogs. Thanks for sharing this story about overcoming fear--unless you have a fear of frogs! Haha. :P

    By the way, I'm reciting my favorite poems from MMPoetry2013 on my site. Would you let me recite your poems "Debatable" and "Secret Identity"? Thanks. :)