A bullfrog took up residency in my dark and dank basement several years ago. I toted him upstairs and back outside in the early days of his visit, but that may have been a different frog entirely, although I suspect not. I've never given my roommate much thought, as I'm also somewhat of a solitary by nature. In fact he only crosses my mind when I hear him plop into the small dirty sump in the far corner of the basement ... plop
The first few times I heard his plop I looked for him, but there are several battered old boards covering the tiny pool, and if my visitor chose privacy, well, I could understand and left him alone.
echoes through a winter evening
what the hell???
My first thought was there's some new settling issue in my old house. But a bullfrog's croak is unique, and the penny quickly dropped that I had an unpaying tenant. Fine. Next time I won't be spooked.
The occasional GRONK! and the neatly executed basement splashes have become part of the old house's winter rafter cracks and windy spring whippings by unlashed cables on the huge old TV antenna.
As I was heading for the backyard deck this afternoon, there was a surprise -
fat old bullfrog
on the top step
I asked if he had had enough of his hermitage in my basement. Basho! Of course, how foolish not to recognize the ancient spirit in my basement. Basho, I said, would you like to visit the world? Would you like to leave your basement retreat to socialize with other frogs? Or do you prefer to stay in the dark safety, with spiders, sow bugs and other gourmet creatures to savour?
Basho looked confused, kind of huddled, as if he didn't know what he wanted. I hesitated about lifting him and making the decision for him. I opened the back door, letting the early summer heat lure him outside. Basho didn't stir, perhaps a blink, but no decision.
back door ajar
but no Basho
when I returned from gardening
Did he stay, or did he go? I could have visited the basement and listened for a telltale splash, but I don't want to know right away.