Croaky Chorus

This is the third part of a longer piece I wrote entitled “Memories of Cebu: Three Ways.”

The storm has passed. But still I couldn’t sleep. My brother and I have long since put away the dozens of buckets we used to collect the rainwater escaping from our leaky roof. My father has nailed back the corrugated iron that was ripped apart by the angry wind. From where I was lying on the sleeping mat under the mosquito net, I noticed how the room was bathed in moonlight. My mother was softly snoring beside me. I listened to nature’s sounds outside, dominated by the chorus of frogs. They lived among the water spinach in the swamp in front of our house. A handful of the croaky critters led the melody. The tenors and bass joined in, harmonizing throatily. The amorous baritones completed the chorus. Hundreds of frogs in vocal union, sounding like an amphibian version of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy. After the ecstatic crescendo, only a couple of frogs called out to each other and then – silence. I snuggled close to my mother. I put my thin, small arm around her and felt it rising and falling with her breathing. Her soft snoring finally lulled me to sleep.

 

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