I'm nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there's a pair of us -- don't tell!
They'd banish us you know!
How dreary to be somebody!
How public, like a frog
To tell one's name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!
Lately I've been listening for the peepers. A Spring peeper is, according to Wikipedia, "a small chorus frog."
Small, perhaps, but mighty en mass with all those chirpy voices rising into the night. Peepers fill their vocal sacs with air until they look like a balloon, then they let out a "peep" as they release the air.
I love it.
The sounds in the boggy back fields near my mom's house are so wonderful this time of year. Evening's Great Silence has been unlocked. The tiny heralds of Spring inflate and release their mini balloon warbles in a chorus of celebration.
A spring pond full of peeping peepers can sound like sleigh bells jingling -- only louder.
The poem above, by Emily Dickinson, is one of her most famous and playful works. Ironic, since the author penned nearly 1800 poems but published fewer than 10 of them in her lifetime.
The peeper frog is tiny; no bigger than your thumb-nail, and its balloon chirp is a comical part of nature. So it is with Dickinson's pithy verse: brief and whimsical.
Yet the combined impact of thousands of these little frogs is, well, shrill and clamorous. It's a collection of chirps, warbles and trills that joyfully announce the next season.
Is it Spring yet? Are we finally rounding a corner?
Daytime temperatures are getting balmier, and green shoots are popping up everywhere. Porch swings are coming out of storage, and barbecue grills are being called into service.
The happiest commotion of all is what you'll hear when you lean into the breeze and hear the sounds it carries: the peepers returning and reclaiming the night.