Have you ever tried frog leg soup? No? Well, neither have I. But the frogs didn’t know that.
My family started going to Calvary Chapel when I was about seven. I pretty much grew up in that church; I know every room, every shortcut, and where every door leads. I grew up on the playground; playing tag on the grass, and having snacks at Vacation Bible School on the large deck on the other side of the church.
Just beyond the parking lot is a small marsh, walled off by chain-link fence. In summer the peepers are quite loud. I didn’t know frogs were capable of such dratted noise. It’s enough to drive anyone crazy.
But I liked it too. I loved summer nights after Wednesday church; the sky full of stars which I learned the names of, the air so warm it felt like a comforting cloak, my shoes carried in my hand because I didn’t want to wear them during church. I loved hearing the peepers.
Perhaps I get my impish elfin nature from my dad; or perhaps my mom. As we walked out to the car after church (usually in the overflow parking lot at Jefferson school next door because our family is nearly always late), Dad came up with the game of seeing if we could get the peepers to pipe down.
When we neared the marsh, Ian and I would shout with Dad: “Frog leg soup!” The loud peepers would instantly hush. We’d be quiet and try not to laugh. One brave (or foolhardy) peeper would manage a tentative croak, and then would be joined by another comrade a bit later. Soon, they’d be back to their usual racket.
We’d wait until they were back to their arguing, attempts at singing, and general chatter (or whatever frogs are doing when their making such a racket), then we’d shout “Frog leg soup!” But this time they would know the gig, so it would take a couple rounds of shouting to get them to quiet down.
Fellow churchgoers walking out to their cars would sometimes give us odd looks; but I didn’t care much, scaring the frogs half to death was just too much fun.