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For Whom the Frog Croaks

Geoffrey's picture

            I took my sons out frog hunting last week.  My sons are half-Isan and I'd like them to pick up some bush skills, not just know the Pythagorean theorem.  The frogs had been croaking very loudly that morning.  Our guide, Uncle Tao, taught me a lot.  Different varieties of frogs croak differently.  I can identify about 4 different croaks in our area.  That moon-lit night one croak was dominant.  Although very loud, it belonged to a small frog about the size of my thumbnail.  We rarely heard the aup-aup-aup croak of the big frog that we wanted.  Following the croaks and using his head light, Thomas spotted only one aup-aup frog the whole night.  He had his hands on it but it slipped out and quickly (very quickly) hopped away.  Tao told me that there were many more frogs when he was growing up.  More villagers have been hunting them so there are fewer.  Some hunt them to sell at the market.  A few days ago I learned that a neighboring village has designated a no-frog hunting area to allow breeding.  You see, it is the male frog who sits and croaks waiting for a mate to come and deposit her eggs so he can fertilize them.  This morning no frogs are croaking.  They are all satisfied.  And that is for whom the frog croaks.