Friday, 12 November 2010

Hunting frogs under a moonlit sky...

This is not an account of how I went hunting for people with berets holding racks of onions, but more an attempt to embrace that little part of me (my toe) with French heritage. So for those who have come to this page looking for racial slurs please move on.

After a long day of trying once again to register my visa (another eight hour round trip by car which I'm sure I'll elaborate on when it is a slow news day – the high point was seeing a Rhea by the road) there was nothing I wanted to do more than relax at home. However destiny had other plans and after a brief discussion with Cristina's brother (Ed Carlos) it was decided me and him would go 'fishing' for frogs - I was excited. After picking up a friend along the way (who I've met numerous times on my various trips here but can never quite remember his name. Lets call him the Frogfinder General) we went to pick up the bare essentials:

  • 1 flick knife
  • 1 machete
  • 1 torch
  • 20 cans of beer

With the absence of any sort of rod it was apparent to me that this was going to be less like 'fishing' and more like hunting.

After each of us had cracked open a can we were off on our way to what the Frogmaster General informed us was the best spot (him being the expert). Within minutes we arrived at a spot on the  Rio Sao Fransisco – his favourite allegedly. As we waited for the night to dwindle away we drank a couple more cans and made jokes about the stray dog and how much she charged for parking. That and her asking me for child support payments for her puppies..

As evening turned into night it was time to go. The Frogmaster General detailed how we were to find them. They were down by the bank and made a 'buloop, buloop' sound. Well that seemed pretty obvious really. With the torch in hand Frogmaster led the way. I was weilding the flick knife, Ed Carlos the machete, and we all had another can of beer in hand just to be on the safe side – you can never be too careful.

It wasn't long before Frogfinder found his first victim. Shining the light down by the river we heard some excited mumblings so Ed and I went to look. There sitting but two feet away from us was a large frog about the size of a grapefruit. It didn't move, it didn't seem at all perturbed that there were three men in front of it breathing alcohol, holding knives, and flashing a great big light in its face. Ah well, I guess that's Darwinism for you. Frogfinder had the first go and caught it directly behind the head and before the arms. Once clasped tightly, it was Ed's turn to do his job with the machete. Placing the point just behind its head, laying atop the spine it was a hard push down that separated its head from the rest of the body. We popped it in the bag and moved on. The next find it was my turn to try for the catch. Having had one too many beers by then and having already fallen over through inebriation, I fancied the frogs chances more than mine. Nevertheless I got in position and readied my hand. With a quick (or so I thought) lunge I completely missed the frog and it hopped twice passed Ed and Frogfinder and that was that. Ah well. Still, they ripped the piss as you'd expect.

Ed caught the next one and now it was my turn to be the assassin. I carefully placed the knife on the frogs neck, with my right hand around the handle. I put me left hand on the hilt and then lifted it up and smacked it down. A spray of blood hit Ed's shirt as I pulled the knife from left to right to make sure that I'd completely cracked through the spine. I heard a 'Nossa' from the Frogfinder and then a muttered sentence which sounded like 'he's very brutal'. Another one for the bag and the barbeque later.

The roll of assassin now permanently fell to me. I quite enjoyed it, and in sporadic trips back to the car to refuel on beer we caught, and I despatched about eight in total. The last I had to carry back to the car, and unlike a chicken whose rigor mortis continues for a matter of minutes, this continued for a good 10-15 minutes. When I thought it'd stopped it suddenly made me yelp as it tried to jump out of my hand. Bloody thing.

Now I've always felt that Brazilians tended to drink quite a lot as they're always offering beers around and topping yours up. But it just seems like they drink it more for leisure whereas when I drink it I'm on a mission. This enlightening moment came when we got to the car and Ed and the Frogfinder were surprised that all the beer had gone. It turns out whilst they'd both drunk about five each, I'd drunk a healthy ten. That would explain a few things.

We drove back and were greeted by disgusted looks from our other halves. We proceeded to skin and prepare the frogs for the feast on the weekend. This involved cutting down the knife entry wound in its neck to each of its forearms with a pair of scissors. Once this had been done the slippery skin pulled off nicely in one piece. Next we cut the heads off and then the hands and feet. We did this for all eight and packed them in a bag ready to be frozen and eaten in two days time.

How did they taste you may well ask. Unfortunately I can't give you a definitive answer as my conscription to farming duties commenced the next day. I am reliably informed however that they taste like chicken but better. Wanna try one?


  1. Another good post PT - but I'm beginning to see a recurring theme - there always seems to be beer involved :)


  2. What can I say? I'm just trying to partake in the Brazilian culture Mr. Ross. I've taken your beer intake training rather well ;)