The Kyck-kyck or "Keeker", also known as "Dalireen's Frog", is probably the smallest frog in all of Caelereth. It lives in wet marshy areas wherever the warmer weather lasts for at least two months. It is found all over Sarvonia, from the Water Marshes at the northern part of the continent to about Bardavos, border town to the Raház-Dáth Desert, located at the very south of the United Kingdom of Santharia. It is also located on some neighbouring continents.
Kyck-Kycks are tiny
frogs. Their bodies are about 3
nailsbreadths long (not including the hind legs) and approximately 1 wide.
They are a very vivid green colour, of the bright shade the
peridot, as it is better
known in Sarvonia.
The males are slightly darker and bigger than the females but the difference is very subtle and one needs to look closely to notice. They resemble the common frog in general shape but have proportionately longer, slimmer back legs. Their short front legs are about one third the length of their hind legs. Kyck-Kycks are very quick and agile and they are more difficult to catch than common frogs. However, hobbit children love to have “Keeker races”and may often be seen hanging precariously over a stream bank while dangling a net into the water beneath, trying to catch a few.
Kyck-Kycks are usually a solid green with whitish underbelly, though one does occasionally see a mottled one. Their skin is very smooth and moist. It has a soft texture like that of well-tanned calf-skin. The front feet have three toes, while the much bigger back feet have four. These toes end in sharp little claws, barely a half-grain long.
The eyes of this frog seem disproportionately large compared to their small bodies. As in other frogs, they bulge from the top of the head, but the Kyck-Kyck’s eyes completely cover the top of their head, giving it an odd, lumpy look. The nose and mouth protrude slightly from beneath the big eyes. The eyes are a bright injohue yellow.
Kyck-Kycks are extremely fast. This is due to their small size and
proportionately elongated legs. Hobbits
have a saying which translates to “slippery as a Keeker”, and is generally used
as a derogatory reference to “big folk”, who are perceived as being overly
facile with words and not plainspoken like most
Territory. These little frogs are found throughout Sarvonia, from the Water Marshes to about Bardavos. They are rarely found further south because of the desert. Their preference is for wet marshy areas, especially in the Lower Marsh of the Silvermarshes, the Seanian Swamps, and most of the lakes and rivers across the continent. They are also known on Nybelmar, Denilou and Yamalquain.
Habitat/Behaviour. Like all frogs, this little creature is not solitary and does not travel much. They live in clusters but as individuals, exhibiting no herd behaviour and will quite contentedly live crowded together like Varcosparrows in the city, as long as there is plenty of food. They are timid little creatures, but will struggle violently if caught and many a hobbit, human, or mullog child has come home with “Keek-marks” (scratches from the frog’s sharp little claws) on his/her hands.
Diet. Kyck-Kycks will eat most insects. They eat primarily lin’mar’joh, water dalor, flies, butterflies, and lazhbugs, because those are most prevalent in their territories. A hunting Kyck-Kyck will sit absolutely motionless until an insect comes within reach and then the long sticky tongue shoots out of its mouth and catches the insect. They almost never miss.
Mating. Mating usually begins in early spring and continues into summer. Both genders “sing” to each other in the high pitched croaks which give them their name, “keeeeek-keeeeeek!” It is actually a very attractive sound and is often mistaken for bird song. It is most commonly heard in early evening. When two frogs pair up, they go to a shallow part of the water and the female digs a hole in the sand underwater. Then she squats over the hole to lay her eggs. The male perches on her back and fertilizes the eggs as she lays them. Females will usually lay twice in a season - once in the spring and once in early summer. Males try to fertilize as many females as possible. The frogs rarely fight, however. A smaller male will generally defer to a larger one and go find another female.
Like most frogs, the young of the Kyck-Kyck are tadpoles, small round bodies with a long wiggly tail. They are tiny, a scant two grains long, but develop quickly and grow to resemble their parents (in shape, not size) by about four weeks. They are full adults and ready to mate by the following spring.
Usages. These little frogs are eaten by mullogs and other swamp dwellers. Keeker stew is a mullog delicacy, though it has not enjoyed much popularity with any other races. As before mentioned, halfling children enjoy catching them and they are used by many fishermen (although never by hobbits) to bait their lines.
Myth/Lore. Because of their lovely musical voices, the Kyck-Kycks are known to hobbitfolk as "Dalireen's Frogs" and they are held to be important to her. Some hobbit mothers take their babies out on a fine evening so that "Dalireen's choir" can "sing their lullaby".
Information provided by Alysse the Likely