Geo.: 'Morning E(a)rnest. What's up?
Ern.: Well, you're taking notes and...hey, is that all I get, 3 letters in my name?
Geo.: Same as I get. Why are you chewing bark?
Ern.: No toothbrush. What's your real question?
Geo.: Where are all the treefrogs? They're not out this morning.
Ern.: Oooyour'e right! My guess is the little bald boogers felt the wind keenly last night. Try checking the backyard bench, the one with the tarp over its cushions.
I followed his instructions, went out back and withdrew the tarp.
Geo.: Darwin? Darwin Doorbooger? Are you in there? What are you doing?
Dar.: I'm on the left, Geo., with somebody's butt on my head.
Geo.: 'S'ok, happens to all of us sometimes. Are you guys all right?
Dar.: I think so. After 5 months of hot nights, we thought summer was permanent, then it suddenly got cold!
Geo.: Surely, not that cold.
Dar.: Geo., we have brains the size of nonpareils --those little sugar-specks moms used to sprinkle on party cupcakes. We teeter on the very edge of reason and all it takes is a slight breeze to knock us into chaos.
Geo.: My species has big brains, Darwin, but we suffer the same problem. Weather change makes humans bananas.
Dar.: Well, we treefrogs haven't the intelligence to go mad, or minds to be out of, so we get under covers and huddle up.
Geo.: A most sensible solution.
Dar.: Sense, we have in combination, piles in fact --as evidenced by your investigation...
...we also wipe our muddy hands on your outdoor upholstery. Please replace the tarp and give our regards to E(a)rnest.
Geo.: G'night Ernest, and best wishes from the clutch of treefrogs --right where you told me they'd be.
"Good night, Geo. You know, treefrogs are full of ideas despite their paucity of brains --and when ideas become ideologies, they are not so easily contained. Be cautious, old friend.
Geo.: Are there no exceptions?
Ern: Oh, certainly. Go back and take note of the treefrog who has Buddha's ear:
Ern.: Good, and I hope you did not tell them what "nonpareil" means.
Geo.: It is French for peerless, isn't it?
Ern.: Indeed, but don't tell them. A few scraps thrown to any species --even humans-- makes a cosmic joke of them. Work from nature, the language of the universe.