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The Windam Frogs






Category: TALES OF PURITAN LAND

Source: Myths And Legends Of Our Own Land

On a cloudy night in July, 1758, the people of Windham, Connecticut, were
awakened by screams and shrill voices. Some sprang up and looked to the
priming of their muskets, for they were sure that the Indians were
coming; others vowed that the voices were those of witches or devils,
flying overhead; a few ran into the streets with knives and fire-arms,
while others fastened their windows and prayerfully shrank under the
bedclothes. A notorious reprobate was heard blubbering for a Bible, and a
lawyer offered half of all the money that he had made dishonestly to any
charity if his neighbors would guarantee to preserve his life until
morning.

All night the greatest alarm prevailed. At early dawn an armed party
climbed the hill to the eastward, and seeing no sign of Indians, or other
invaders, returned to give comfort to their friends. A contest for office
was waging at that period between two lawyers, Colonel Dyer and Mr.
Elderkin, and sundry of the people vowed that they had heard a
challenging yell of Colonel Dyer! Colonel Dyer! answered by a guttural
defiance of Elderkin, too! Elderkin, too! Next day the reason of it all
came out: A pond having been emptied by drought, the frogs that had lived
there emigrated by common consent to a ditch nearer the town, and on
arriving there had apparently fought for its possession, for many lay
dead on the bank. The night was still and the voices of the contestants
sounded clearly into the village, the piping of the smaller being
construed into Colonel Dyer, and the grumble of the bull-frogs into
Elderkin, too. The frog scare was a subject of pleasantry directed
against Windham for years afterward.





Next: The Lamb Of Sacrifice

Previous: The New Haven Storm Ship



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