As I sat on the deck looking for clouds in my coffee a few mornings ago, a small noise niggled at my eardrums. I couldn't quite place it (a baby? a bird?) and then it stopped, allowing a return to my regularly scheduled deep thinking.
After a moment or two, I glanced to my right and was surprised to see a black and white kitten beside my chair, no doubt the source of the earlier noise. I'm not sure how motionless I'd been to that point but the mere act of turning my head startled the poor thing into scampering away to safety (I hope!).
Last night while sitting out, I heard another odd noise, this time, a dull scratching sound. After a quick investigation, I realized it was coming from inside the downspout attached to the side of the house. Might it be my little kitten
with a whipin distress? Looking at how small the end of the drain was, I settled on it likely being a bird or mouse with a terrible sense of direction.
As I'd not done a good deed in a number of days, I decided to try and free the source of the noise. I detached the long arm of the drain that extends into the yard to keep water away from the house but the noise was definitely coming from further up the pipe. With probably not enough care, I teetered from the seat of a chair onto the rail of the deck, reached into the eaves and snaked a garden hose into the drain opening. I got down without breaking my neck or my stride and turned the water on gently so as not to drown whatever had Baby Jessica'd itself in there.
The water began running through. Nothing...nothing...some muck...nothing...more muck and then...a small stick. No, not a stick, it moved! A leg? Could it be a tiny leg? My heart raced as I imagined starring in a very special episode of The X Files. Then what looked to be a large clump of dirt started coming through the open end of the drain and after a great plunk, I had my answer. The clump was actually a rather large frog. It tucked its errant leg back into position and sat there, traumatized but breathing.
I turned the hose off and we stared at each other, neither of us sure of the protocol. A couple of minutes into this, I decided it was my move. Picking up a watering can and emptying it slowly over the frog, I washed away his sins and helped him find his legs again. As he hopped off into the bushes leaving me to my mild revulsion, I wondered when to expect the locusts.