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a web of many textures

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Page 403


Commencing about frog-time, which leads to a half-belief
that there is an affinity between the croakers of
the human family and those of the marshes, the croakers
begin to open their throats, and find abundant scope
for their fancy in all sorts of directions. The weather
is an immensely prolific theme. “How confounded cold
it is!” says one croaker; “'t seems to me we never
shall have any warm weather again.” — “Well, did ever
anybody see such infernal weather as this is?” says
another croaker; “'t is nothing but rain, rain, all the
time.” — “This abominable dust,” says another croaker,
“is enough to blind one. It is a thundering nuisance.” —
“Here 's this east wind been here for a fortnight,” says
the mercantile croaker, who has a ship just ready to go
to sea. The wind has, in fact, been “out” but two
days, but the growler's imagination extends the time.
“Will this mud ever dry up?” asks the votary of fashion,
as she looks out upon the sloppy street with the remembrance
of a dress sent home three days before, with the
probability of the fashion changing before she has a
chance to wear it out. The splenetic croak as they
watch the vane for a change of wind, and others croak
because it does change. The world is full of croakers.

We have wondered if there is anything else in the
animal kingdom, but men and frogs, that croaks. The
croak of the latter, however, is his song. He can't help
it. He feels jolly in his drink, and utters himself — not
very pleasantly, it is true — for the fun of the thing.
The frog does n't inveigh against Providence for sending
bad weather; he never growls at the east wind,
never complains at the heat — he sings the same song
at all seasons. Proving this, leaves man the undivided


Page 404
honor of being the only croaker. The horse goes
on uncomplaining in his course, not croaking a bit
about his fate; Lion, though compelled to wait for his
dinner till five o'clock, never croaks about it, but wags
his tail and waits; the robin sings the same joyous
song in an east wind that he does in a westerly one;
all with an instinctive content at the dealings of Providence.
The flowers bloom happily, and never fire off
their pistils in petulance or anger; the trees heed not
the fair or the foul, but keep on, weather or no; and
the humble grass, though universally regarded as green,
keeps right on growing, true to the allegiance it owes
the sun, irrespective of little outside influences.

What 's the use of croaking? Does it make one
hair black or white? Is an east wind shorn of a single
shiver by it? Does the rain cease to chill because of
it? Does the sun relax his melting beams because we
don't like it? No. Then, why should we croak? Ah,