Your mating call sounds remarkably like a woman’s scream … as her foot is being run over … by her husband’s car … as he drives away to his new girlfriend’s place. Compare that to the nightly serenade of our native Gulf Coast Toad who sings like a deck of cards being shuffled by a Vegas card shark. Now this is a lullaby a girl and her mate can snuggle up to.

You have been going on with this “mating procedure” since the summer. Long enough for us to reach a mutual agreement; you’ll close down your one-frog-show by 2 A.M., while I qualm my territorial urge to hunt you down with a lawn hedger. Hasn’t it been long enough for you to note the pond’s suspiciously large population of fish tank turtles? Or to question why your incessant wooing hasn’t drawn in a single female? Have you considered that maybe your groove doesn’t jive here in the central south? Sort of like Yanni jamming it out at the Grand Ole Opry.

Hope is a strong notion for us humans. To take away another’s hope is to wish upon them a purple pox. Who am I to assume hope is limited only to my species? Any creature who has committed to a noise that abrasive must have hope pulsing through its cold blood. I’ve never been one to strip desire from small green refugees. Yet, while I lay here staring at the shadows on my ceiling listening to your … cadence, I feel it is time someone delivers you into truth. You are a pet shop reject. Your drive to reproduce has been exceeded by Fed Ex’s ability to meet increasing aquarium demands. I’m just telling you it may be biologically best for you to pack it up tomorrow and slip into early hibernation.

Tonight, at precisely 1:08 A.M., I crossed over into intolerance. While postponing my favorite dream (water sliding down a corner of the Eiffel Tower), I pulled myself out of bed and collapsed into the glare of the Internet. After some quick sleep-deprived research I confirmed my suspicions. Congratulations! You are cute, with florescent orange stripes marking your back and large bubbly eyes, sold by our kind as “exotic”. Don’t preen; those looks are what took you from your homeland Mister, and that holler got you out of a tank and into this pond.

Will you look here; they’ve got that girlfriend you’ve been screeching for, right here on the web, photo included. She’s not bad if you dig skin slime and poisonous neck glands, and she can be yours with one secure credit card transaction. How do you feel about mail-order brides?

In fact, I can overnight you a couple dozen ladies. We can turn our quaint pond into an amphibian disco. Within a few gestational weeks, you could be the Godfather of your own little Vietnamese water garden. I’d have to get myself a night job.

It’s true, Texans have loose borders when it comes to human immigration, but they also bring impressive manual labor benefits. Dropping our borders to Mother Nature has given us two million Feral Hogs running through fields of Red Fire Ants. Yes, I’d love to put a band-aid over this pet shop wrong, but triggering an environmental blow to the Hill Country would not be very neighborly of me.

I’ve got a confession. That croaking you heard from our deck tonight was not the vocalization of a male challenger. It was my laptop; shooting you up with digital hope. I know the recording was a bit mechanical but you have to admit the corresponding panoramic digital display was impressive. I bet you never saw that back in the Singaporean bog! Sorry, but it’s the best I can offer.

So go ahead and let your call of hope ring us into the icy season. Who knows, there could be another kid in this neighborhood pushing his parents to release his “boring” female frog for a cute Australian croc. Either way, as the moon cuts through another big and bright Texas night, accept that you’re an illegal now, and even you must abide by our Lake Side Community bylaws. No noise after ten!!

Monica Wilcox