This evening I heard it again...the same sound of a sheep that I heard coming from our neighbor's yard about this time last year.
This time I did not do what I did last year. I didn't scrutinize surrounding neighbors yards for the sheep I just knew they were keeping as pets in their back yard. I didn't start picturing in my mind which neighbors might have children raising sheep for a 4-H project. I didn't start wondering what restrictions on livestock within the city limits The Small Town has. I didn't ask a neighbor who was out for a walk if he had heard or seen the sheep. I didn't narrow down the location of the bleating to our back yard. I didn't follow the sound of the bleating to a certain spot near our back yard pool.
This year I did not take any of the above actions because this time last year, I did a search on the internet and read about sheep frogs.
We get a few different types of frogs and toads in our back yard every spring. There's an occasional bullfrog, and of course thousands of tadpoles in the water on top of the pool cover, but thankfully they are eliminated when we open the pool for the season. I find the sheep frog to be most curious. It is one of a group of animals that can imitate other animals. I think also of catbirds, mockingbirds and parrots. I'd rather have the pretty birds, and save just a frog or two for the garden.