Take it from me, there is no point arguing with a tree frog. He will always have a comeback and it will be less than complementary.

Argumentative critters, tree frogs.

You can’t say things to a tree frog like “Wipe that expression off your face,” when you are arguing with one, either. Tree frogs don’t have expressions. An ornery tree frog looks like a happy tree frog which looks like a concerned tree frog and so forth and so on.

I know a lot about tree frogs, because a big, green, red-eyed fellow lives outside the window of my home office. He lets his presence be known day or night.

When a frog that lives down by the pond sounds off, our guy has an answer for him. He isn’t about to let some hick pond frog mouth off and not get a ear-full for it. Of course, the pond frogs aren’t about to put up with some uppity house-living frog talking smack about him. He gathers up his buddies and they give as good as they get.

Next thing you know, there’s a croak war erupting. Hundreds of frog voices are shouting to the top of their lungs. They croak until they get tired. Then, about the time the croaking dies down, somebody
says something that upsets everyone else and there they go again, hollering like it was going out of style.

I’ve started a few croak wars myself on occassion. If the window is open and I sneeze, cough loud or whatever, our tree frog interprets the sound as that big frog inside the house spouting off again. He croaks and croaks and croaks right back at me. The pond frogs don’t realize he isn’t talking to them, so they come back at him with a big “OH YEAH!” to which he responds “YEAH!” To which they respond “OH YEAH!” To which he responds “YEAH!” And so forth and so on.

It is not always just me that sets our friend on the windowsill off. Sometimes it is the radio or television. The cat meowed one time and he went ballistic. No way was he going to put up with a frog meowing at him like that.

One thing I notice is on nights with a big, bright moon, you don’t hear a sound out of him. The pond and woods tree frogs are quiet, too. I figure it is a predator thing. Bats, maybe. I fight the urge to go open the window on bright nights and shout to him, “Got anything you want to say to me now?” knowing he can’t afford to say a word.

But I don’t. As big a loud-mouth as he is, I like the fellah.

There is only one tree frog I like better. He is another big, green tree frog who makes his home in the pocket of a folding chair down by the pond. I sit in the chair to fish sometimes. He doesn’t run from me. Instead, he crawls out of the pocket and sits on the arm of the chair while I fish. He never croaks at me either. He never croaks at all. We just sit there, both quiet as can be and watch the world go by.

The last time I went down there to fish, he was gone. He gone the next time, too. I haven’t checked on him in a long time. I hope he is still there. If not, I hope he is one of the crowd hollering back at our window sill guy.