phantom frog were all sitting in the living room last night playing Mexican Train dominoes. The assorted animals were resting; the TV was off; the fire was crackling.

When from the next room, unmistakable and clear, we heard: “ribbit.”

It was without doubt a frog, speaking a single amphibious word.

But there was no frog

6 responses to “phantom frog

  1. That was a “ribbiting” story, ha!

  2. Unless we are to believe in ghostly frogs, there must have been a frog (unless you mistook another sound for that of a frog, which seems unlikely).

    The question then is “Where was the frog?” and subsidiary to this, “Why did the sound appear to come from the next room?”.

    Maybe we can postulate some acoustic effect. I am familiar with this as my hearing is slowly declining and this produces strange illusions, such as sounds seeming to come from behind me when they really come from in front. I am not suggesting your (collective) hearing is at fault, merely illustrating how there can be “aural illusions”.

    I note that you recently had a fireplace installed. Is there any chance that a frog became immured with the fireplace? Or that a gap has been left in the wall where a frog could enter? A “ribbit” in a wall cavity might well seem to come from a particular room (e.g. if there are ventilation grills).

    Email SilverTiger

  3. >>frog became immured with the fireplace>>
    OH my gosh. I hadn’t thought of that at all. The “ribbit” was far enough into the other room that it wasn’t near the fireplace, but I suppose it could have gotten into the wall during the installation — or, as you say, through a gap in the outer siding. I’ll have to go investigate those possibilities before they’re proven correct by a strange and unpleasant smell…

  4. Thanks goodness for that frog hunting exercise…I had a friend who had a similar thing happen with a new fireplace, but a possum got stuck…no ribbits, but a extremely horrible smell that cause a few days evacuation to eliminate…

  5. I sincerely hope Brer Ribbit is not stuck in the wall. The clue would be whether you have heard the sound since. If not, then there is room for cautious optimism.

    We once had some young birds trapped in our wall cavity. They must have slipped down there from a nest under the eaves. We could see their little beaks protruding from a ventilation grill (older houses in England have rather primitive measures to deal with damp).

    The story has a happy ending: we broke the grill, opened the windows and left the room; later, the birds emerged (leaving traces of their passage on the bed) and their mother came and led them to freedom.

    Email SilverTiger

  6. >>Brer Ribbit>>
    😀 Oh, that’s wonderful. And thank you for sharing your happy story about the birds! We had flying squirrels in the attic space above our kitchen. They got in through a space in the garage, and we’d hear the skittering of little feet. We thought they were mice, or perhaps regular squirrels; but we set a live trap and caught two large-eyes animals of a type that I didn’t even know existed in this part of the country. We released them far enough away that we hoped they wouldn’t find their way back. In the meantime, no more sound, sight, or smell of Mr. Ribbit. It may be an eternal froggy mystery.

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