I’m delighted to announce that we’ve solved the Case of the Phantom Frog.
First, you need to know the following bits of background:
- My husband is president of the teacher’s assocation, as well as a teacher, and he does his association work on a laptop. Said laptop sits on a drafting table next to the kitchen. (Yes, the table’s top is laid flat, not tilted as it would be for an architect.)
- The association uses an AOL account for email.
- We have a home wireless network, so often the AOL account is sitting open even when my husband isn’t using the laptop.
- My kids’ first-grade teacher collects frogs. (Not live ones, but, you know, frog stuff. In a very serious way. Her classroom overflows with froggy items.)
Got it figured out yet?
Last night, I was in bed working on an acrostic puzzle and talking to my husband, when our son (who was up late working on an assignment that he, um, hadn’t realized was due quite so soon) came hurrying in and told us, “I just heard that ‘ribbit’ sound again!”
My husband grabbed a flashlight and followed him out, and they began to search the area — the same part of the house the sound seemed to come from the other night, and an area where the pets might have hidden a noise-making toy, or perhaps a live frog might have hidden in or under our very large, potted elephant ear plant.
My husband was searching near the drafting table when the sound came again, right next to him: “Ribbit!” He was, needless to say, surprised. Then he looked at the laptop screen — and the mystery was solved. As you may have already guessed, my kids’ first-grade teacher is on his AIM buddy list, and, being a lover of frogs, she has the “ribbit” sound play whenever she signs on or off.
It was, not a ghost, but a frog in the machine…