Stories of strange things falling from the sky never fail to amuse me and when I found this one I just had to share it.
Not just boring old frogs and fish here, among other things this article tells us about the live 2ft long alligator falling from the sky in Charleston in 1844. Nice try, but a single alligator does not a shower make.
Frankly, unless I saw the thing falling from a great height with my own eyes I will continue to believe that it appeared immediately after a strange rain event and the people assumed that it fell from the sky.
Can you imagine how angry an alligator would be after a fall like that? I bet that anyone coming across it would be unlikely to live to tell the tale!
I have done posts before about strange things falling from the sky, I loved this one that included poisonous insects (ouch!) and a butter-like substance that, when applied to the skin, effected astonishing cures. What the?! (In that post I said that such a thing would never be smeared upon any part of my body unless that body part had already been amputated…..)
Usually these strange showers are attributed to whirlwinds sucking up the tiny victims (frogs, fish etc) and then dropping them in an unlikely location, seemingly for our amusement.
(In this article from 1911 a poor schoolgirl was sucked up but didn’t travel very far before she fell to her death.)
I understand that the whirlwind theory is a logical one, but it doesn’t explain everything does it? You would think that reports of a shower of frogs would be followed by reports of a pond being suddenly and mysteriously emptied in a nearby part of the country wouldn’t you? After all, the frogs don’t just hang around on the surface waiting to be sucked up, do they? Surely the falling pond frogs should be accompanied by weeds, old boots and lost fishing rods? 😉
Man-eating frogs. Coat chewing, anyway. I wonder how big they really were. Must have been pretty big to chomp a chook although every fresh detail makes it seem more likely that these terrifying beasts were seen through the fog of some swamp-made moonshine. Devouring a large number of chickens? As big as a large bran sack? Even more unlikely, making one almighty leap to be out of gun range….
Swamp people generally pride themselves on their toughness and ability to deal with whatever lives in the swamp. I can picture Burrowes and Manley, both senior and junior, running off screaming like teenage girls at a spider then vowing never to speak of it again. Once the story was out it morphed into one where they were lucky to escape with their lives from a terrifying killer.
Obviously the people and chickens in the Mississippi Swamp, where the frogs originated, must be less tasty. Or tougher. I haven’t seen any scary stories published about them being eaten.
The frogs have returned!
I was really happy to see that this hot and muggy weather we are suffering through has at least one added benefit.
Last week I wandered into the kitchen to get yet another cooling drink and what do I see, but four pale frog bellies pressed against the glass of the sliding back door . They were tiny, only as big as my fingerprint, and over the next week we watched them get bigger each day.
They love the glass door as the light inside attracts bugs, so all they have to do is climb up and wait for something delicious to get close. Our only dilemma is how to let the dog out for a run around and a wee before bedtime if the opening door means frogs inside, and imminent death under my dusty furniture? We have taken to checking with a torch before opening it and if we are under attack he goes out the front door on the lead!
Despite my policing of the door I have discovered two of them inside in recent days and luckily I managed to turf them out before my bad housekeeping did them in. One was found on the window ledge in the loungeroom trying to catch the bugs on the outside (cute doesn’t always mean smart) and one jumped out at my feet when I was cutting sandwiches for the next days lunch. That particular one was covered in fluff (it had obviously trekked quite a distance before making it to the kitchen) and my first thought was eek! huntsman! so it very nearly got stomped on. When I tried to trap that one it headed straight for the dog so, again, cute doesn’t mean smart.
It has been quite a while since we have had frogs just hanging around. I am sure they have always been there as in the past we have found single ones under the woodpile (which is where I took the photo) or in the ferns at random times but to see a group of them like that each evening is a wonderful thing.