Saturday, January 31, 2009

Ulphia and the frogs

Today is, among other things, the feast of Saint Ulphia who lived in 8th century France as a solitary hermit. The one miracle attributed to her was the Silencing of the Frogs. Apparently, one night the frogs croaked so loud and so continuously that she was unable to sleep for hours, and when she finally dropped off she missed morning prayers. This so disturbed her that she forbade the frogs to EVER CROAK again. And they were silent thereafter.

Which, given that male frogs must croak to attract the females in order to reproduce and perpetuate their species, this seems pretty harsh. I love my sleep as much as anyone (and some would say far more than is reasonable) but I can’t imagine imposing a diktat that would result in the extinction of a certain species just in order to sleep in peace. (How anti-Noah, as opposed to antediluvian.)

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