The Night of the Rana
Last Night, I slept next to a tank in the desert of the great Altiplano.
As nightfall came, that tank woke up with an ear deafening croaking.
Little did I know that the previous post
would serve as a foreshadowing.
For this night would find its aural reality completely dominated
Whether they were Pobblebonks, Spadefoots, Banjos, Bells,
Booroolong Frogs, Fleay's Barred Frogs, Giant Barred Frogs,
Peppered Frogs, Philoria Pughis, or Tusked Frogs,
I don't know.
I presume that they were all Mexican.
Now let me be clear here, I am not a big camper.
I was a good boy scout and do it quite well, but I don't love it.
Last night was a little different.
The Huichole guide who had brought us to this sacred place,
Blessed the fire before he started it.
He then used his hands to raise the flames into his chest,
as if he was bathing in the flames.
Our guide then set two sticks on each side of the rock fire.
They were to be used only as fire sticks.
Towards the end of the day,
We walked in the desert fields surrounding the green oasis we were in,
and soon our guide found the deer signature he was looking for.
We set up a little altar there and then our guide blessed that spot.
We gave thanks and we communed with the spirits of that land.
During the night many powerful thunderstorms managed
to find their way around us as we slept in the open air.
We did cover ourselves with a tarp as the 4 A M storm approached,
All the night, the ranas made their mating calls at volumes and intensities
that I had only formerly reserved for for airliners, firetrucks.
and cement plants.
And I mean they were really loud,
as if we were in the first act of some creepy Stephen King movie.
We didn't talk much last night or even today.
Perhaps we had all heard enough from the Ranas. (Perhaps deaf)
We watched the clouds, and the great mountains around us.
We watched the occasional dust devil reach up to touch the sky.
We visited and got a complete tour of a 200 year old Mescal factory.
We explored an irrigated farm with its slightly leaky, perfectly level
almost crumbling elevated aquaducts.
Late in the afternoon
We pulled into Matehuala and decided to go to a seafood restaurant.
A few of us ate frog meat.
The rest of us liked the idea.
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