brother Sam and I went frog gigging with brothers Bill and Jesse and another fellow
who will be left unnamed. In order to gig frogs you had to wade out into the water,
turn around and face the shore and look for their eyes reflecting back in your
flashlight beam. It was early spring in our area near Gladewater, Texas and the
water was still cold but a serious frog gigger doesn’t let a little thing like
being numb up to the neck hinder him. Jobs for teenagers in the late 30s were
scarce and selling frogs was one of the few ways we could pick up a little ready
cash. The five of us would take turns in the water two at a time while the others
warmed their frozen bodies by a fire. Not only did we have to contend with the
chilly water but there were other hazards as well. Once, while I concentrated
on my quarry I detected something moving in the faint light before me. I glanced
down to see huge water moccasin swimming right under my nose. The quest continued
without a break.|
After several hours we had a pretty good catch of amphibians.
They ranged in size from about ten inches up to one mighty creature at least eighteen
inches long. We started dividing up the frogs among the five of us when the unnamed
fellow offered us a deal. He said if we would let him have the largest one we
could have all the rest. I wondered why he would be willing to take just one frog,
no matter how large and let us have the rest. We agreed, feeling as if we had
struck a great bargain with him. As he walked away he laughed and said that he
had really taken advantage of us. He explained that people preferred the giant
frogs and we wouldn’t even be able to sell the small ones.
unnamed one left Jesse, Sam and I hung our heads and felt like dunces being taken
like that. For some strange reason Bill had a smug smile on his face. We soon
knew why when he reached in the sack and pulled out the biggest catch of the night.
The unnamed one had settled for the SECOND largest frog. We had the largest and
all the rest.