The Croak of Dawn

Searching for Toads in NamibiaRick Bass

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I am sitting by the sweet-scented smoldering remains of last night’s campfire, the burned-out husk of a mopane stump still exhaling tendrils of dense blue smoke, and listening to the doves, when I hear a new sound—new to me, at least—that sounds remarkably like the squeak or croak of spring peepers. I didn’t think Namibia’s desert had toads or frogs but nothing about this landscape would seem beyond the realm of possibility; everything is new. What a luxury it is to inhabit such a condition again, as when one was a child.

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