Maxine Rose Schur is the author of the award winning book There’s a Babirusa in my Bathtub: Fact and Fancy About Curious Creatures. The book includes a variety of witty, lively poems that makes learning about these unsung animals fun. As Maxine points out, there are many little-known animals worthy of our attention: “When I researched the little-known animals of our planet I discovered far more than could be included in the book. These animals are not in the book but they’re still in my heart. Like the little coqui frog of Puerto Rico. A most amazing frog!”
Coqui by Mike Maydak
When leaves in the forest drip and glisten,
When the moon is a hammock slung low,
Close your eyes, then let yourself listen.
To the music of Coqui’s Night Show.
Atop a damp log, sits the tiniest frog
You can’t see him in the darkening deep.
But the songs Coqui sings, as if they had wings,
Will carry you so sweetly to sleep.
Imagine a tree frog so small, it could perch on a marble! The coqui is just that small. This tiny amphibian lives in the rainforest of Puerto Rico. Though it is small, it is powerful for the male coqui guards its territory by singing from dusk to dawn! Ko-Kee! Ko-kee!
Coquis vary in color. They are green, brown, yellow, and some are transparent! The transparent coqui takes on the color of its surroundings. This camouflage protects it from predators. Looking at a transparent coqui, you would see, as if looking through a window, all its organs, even its beating heart!
Though tiny, the coqui is a huge symbol for Puerto Ricans who love the little creature and proudly call themselves coquis. This love must flow both ways for if a coqui is ever taken from the island, it never sings again.
People say that if you fall asleep to the song of the coqui, you will have peaceful dreams. So if you’re in Puerto Rico, open your window and… listen.
Fabulous Fact: The coqui may be small, but its song is louder than the noise of a vacuum cleaner!