Sunday, November 20, 2011

Frog Story

For several weeks, Ron was hearing a frog croaking in front of our house in the evenings. Not a delicate creaky frog, but a big loud frog. This frog was driving Ron crazy. He would just be settling in to listen to music, read the newspaper, watch a movie, or play his trombone, and this frog would begin making a racket. Ron kept going out on the front porch and looking for the culprit. But frogs have this habit of falling silent the minute a human gets too close. “It’s so loud,” Ron complained, “that it sounds like it’s right inside the living room.” My book group met here on Wednesday and that frog started croaking, and they could hear it where we sat at the dining room table. It really did sound as if it was inside the house. Well, as it turned out, it was. On Thursday morning I noticed Golda (my orange tabby cat) studying a little one-inch square white-green object in front of the sliding door to the deck. I went over for a closer look and sure enough, it was a frog. I managed to rescue the frog from Golda before she ate it and I released it out onto the deck, where it hopped merrily on its way. My guess is that it was living in one of the cold-sensitive plants I brought in for the winter a few weeks ago. They are in the front hallway. It was such a tiny frog, I can hardly believe it made such a loud croak. But the house has been blessedly quiet in the evenings now so it was definitely that little fellow. Hop softly and carry a loud voice.

Now, and this has nothing to do with frogs, I want to share a quote that resonated with me this week. I just finished reading Suite Française by Iréne Nèmirovsky. She was a well-known French novelist, Jewish, who was deported to the camps and killed when the Nazis occupied France. She had written nine novels by the time she died, at the young age of 39. Her husband also perished. Her daughters were hidden and managed to survive and one of them (only 10 years old at the time) packed her mother’s manuscript for Suite Française in her suitcase to remind her of her mother when they fled after their parents were arrested. Nèmirovsky’s work has been compared to that of Tolstoy. (She emigrated to France from Russia when she was young.) At the end of Suite Française, there was an Appendix that included some of Nèmirovsky’s notes to herself about the book. This is the note from Iréne I wanted to share: “What lives on: 1) our humble day-to-day lives, 2) Art, 3) God.”

No comments: