„What? I hear nothing! Kreta realized with some mild interest that she really didn’t hear anything specific, including her own voice, because of the noise that splashed about and poured over them from everywhere. All screamed: near and far, high and low, strongly and even stronger. The result was a shrill thunder; a rumbling, thick as the Nile mud, crumbly as drying soil and heavy as the Pharaoh’s fist.
Kreta squeezed Rammi’s slippery pad and started dragging him to their place.
In the shallows the water shivered and quaked from countless frogs and from the thunder that they were creating. Kreta knew none of the frogs. It seemed that they gushed out of the water, grew out of the mud, dripped from the bushes – and they all shouted, dashed one into another, looked for their families, trod on each other’s feet and quarreled. The bustle was indescribable.
Kreta realized that she was also crying, „Rammi, come, quickly!“ but her voice sank into the general commotion like a drop of water in dry sand.
Rammi apparently understood where she was taking him, for he leaped forward and started breakng way through the crowd without losing hold of her pad.
Rammi is wonderful. Impeccable. Even in this terrible moment, Kreta felt a rush of pride and love at the sight of his silky back, his powerful legs, and his beautiful pattern.
I am the happiest frog, she thought to herself.
They reached the reversed basket they had discovered some time ago. Buried beneath several layers of alluvial dirt, almost fossilized, it looked like a rounded stone brought here by the tide, but it had a gap on the side, and if someone slid beneath it, he would find a dark, sheltered wet place.
Rammi and Kreta slid in. The sound was a little muffled here. They pressed against one another and stood that way. Kreta spoke first, her mouth pressed against his ear.
„Do you know what’s going on?“
„No one knows. “
„Suddenly they started appearing from all directions. Does the river carry them? “
„It’s not the river. I spoke to one of them, he was very confused. He claims to be from the lower stream.“
„How did he swim against the current?“
„He did not even swim. Something carried him away. “
„What kind of thing? “
„Just something! He saw everyone – all and sundry – coming out and leaving: something carried them away and threw them here. “
„I don’t understand even a bit of this. Rammi, I’m afraid. “
„Me too. Something’s going on. “
„Who needs to collect all the frogs from the Nile Valley right here, in our valley?“
„There’re billions of frogs. I have never heard about such an incident before. “
„Rammi, Rammi, let’s stay here. They will trample us, the river is too small for that many frogs, and I am so afraid. “
„We’ll stay here till the last moment. Hush. Hush. “
Rammi hugged Kreta even tighter. Their breath was quick and dry, their hearts pounding in unison. From the mighty rumble that came from all directions, even from beneath the earth, their tongues dried up, and their eyes were about to pop out.
Suddenly the basket pulled away from the mud and flew off.
Some force lifted Rammi and Kreta, pulling them apart, tossing them upward in a dense jet of frogs, which rose up, waterdrops sprinkling from their bodies, pressing into each other more and more, elbows to elbows, eyes to eyes, crowding the sky: a throbbing, roaring, terrifying stormy cloud of frogs hanging over Giza.