It was a hard year, 1973. There was a terrible drought, Watergate was wreaking havok on public trust in the government, we lost Noel Coward, and got “Wheel of Fortune.” But mostly, it was the year the frogs stood up and started picking.
We didn’t think much about it at first. Truth be told, it was kind of pretty. But it freaked the hell out of the dogs. Every time they went to drink from the pond, some damned amphibian started riffing bluegrass, maybe something more modern, like Thelonius Monk. Sometimes they could sing AND play, and then, well, you’d find the dogs shivering under the covers, ‘fraid to move, just two black eyes and maybe a paw sticking out. And outside, you’d here that infernal banjo. And maybe a “croak” now and again, or else a couple of verses of “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.” That, my friends, was too much. We drained the ponds, had ourselves a nice cook-up of frogleg etouffee, which was kind of nice, with a side of squash and okra, a couple Colorado Bulldogs, and the dying strains of “Foggy Mountain Breakdown.” And if that’s what it took to get the dogs out from under the covers, well, then. But they never did go near the pond again.
Savers on South Lamar, Austin