A  little over a month ago, frog 120 suddenly fell off the grid together with his companion 110. We searched the whole of Sweetwater up and down, day and night, but the frogs seemed as swept off the face of the earth. The only sign of them ever being present was the steady beeping from 120’s frequency out the belly of frog 542 and the constant empty cracklings on the receiver when tuned into 110.

Innocent 110 ©SL Smith

Until last week. One sunny day, as we were walking along the paths of the east bank for the zillionth time listening to the ghost wispers and crackles on the 110 frequency, a faint beep beep beep was heard! Following the signal, it led us right back to eastern outskirts where the frog was last seen. Peering back at us with it’s amber clear eyes from under the dry leaves it wouldn’t reveal its story to us, but we were happy to see it was OK. I couldn’t help but asking if it perhaps knew where 120 had gone, but he remained silent as frogs tend to do when you ask them for their secrets. I didn’t dare to mention 542 in case it would scare him off again…

The following evening the next surprise was in line for us. Searching carefully in the leaf litter for frog 297 down in the ghaut, no less then two frogs jumped up, one of them more or less smacking radio tracker Jervaine in the face. The number on the PIT-tag reader of the second frog was a number not seen for a long time. It was frog 120.  He looked good and didn’t like getting swabbed one bit. Where you been?! I exclaimed, but he just smiled.

Exchanging secrets ©SL Smith

Now here’s the thing we still don’t understand. How could 542 suddenly steal his frequency? Was it a setup so 120 could run away unnoticed? Did he have something to do that he didn’t want anyone to know about? Maybe he had a message from his mama to her relatives in Bottomless that he needed to bring and now he had hopped all the way back up again to finish his duty as release frog? Or is there a scientific explanation?

Last night we saw him again, sitting on the side of the ghaut and smiling like somebody with a really good secret.

Jenny Liman, Volunteer

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