NOISE AND FROGS
Some years ago a couple of emigrants from the Emerald Isle were wending their way westward in search of employment as a means of subsistence. The shades of night had already closed in upon them as they found themselves in the vicinity of a large sheet of standing water, more vulgarly called a big pond. They were greeted upon their approach by a symphony of bullfrogs, which was the only manifestation of life in the darkness that surrounded them, literally ‘making night hideous’ with noise. This sort of harmony was altogether new to them, and for a moment they were greatly terrified at the diabolic din. Instinctively and resolutely grasping their shillalahs, under the impression that Beelzebub or some of his deputies was about to dispute their farther progress, they cautiously advanced toward the spot from whence the strange concert proceeded. The frogs, however, alarmed at their approaching footsteps, had beat a precipitate retreat, and taken refuge in their water hiding-places, and all was as silent as the grave. After waiting for some seconds in breathless suspense for the appearance of the enemy, not a sound being audible, in great disappointment and disgust at the loss of so favorable an opportunity for a free fight, one of our heroes, seizing his companion by the coat-sleeve, whispered confidentially in his ear: “Faith, Pat, and it’s my deliberate opinion that it was nothing but a blasted noise!”
Ward Hill Lamon, Recollections of Abraham Lincoln, p. 196-197.