Popplebumps are tiny tree frogs native to Wobble Grass Swamp. There are many species, but all of them have bright green skin and large splayed toes, and none of them are more than an inch long. Some are poisonous, and these have bright yellow, orange, or red spots. The poisonous species are often cultivated by the swamp goblins, who use the popplebumps’ secretions to coat their spears and arrows.
Popplebumps mate early in spring, and their sweet piping can be heard throughout the swamps. Their mating songs are so loud that the native people use a variety of methods to block the sound just so they can sleep at night. Mud or beeswax ear stoppers are the most common methods. Non-natives often buy sleeping potions to see them through “the season.” Fortunately, mating only lasts a few weeks. Then the frogs settle down to laying eggs deep in the mud where the coming hurricanes won’t disrupt them.
Frogs of all types are an essential part of the ecology of Wobble Grass. They eat millions of insects and spiders, and in turn provide a food source for birds, fish, small mammals, and hatchling crocodiles, turtles, and water drakes. The popplebumps in specific also provide valuable medicinal and alchemical ingredients, used in creating pain relievers and healing potions.
The popplebump photograph is my own. 🙂
This work by Jean Headley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.