Katacha Díaz is a Peruvian American writer. Wanderlust and love of travel have taken her all over the world to gather material for her stories. Her prose and poetry has been published internationally in literary journals, print and online magazines, and anthologies. Her most recent credits are: Voice of Eve, The Galway Review, Muddy River Poetry Review, Harvests of New Millennium, Poppy Road Review, Taj Mahal Review, Westview, Barely South Review, Ethos Literary Journal, The Pangolin Review, Poetry Pacific, Anak Sastra. She lives and writes up in her perch in a quaint little historic town at the mouth of the Columbia River in the Pacific Northwest, USA.

Moonlight Serenade

By Katacha Díaz

When the postman in Miraflores, Peru, delivered my American pen pal’s postcard of hula dancers in Kapiolani Park, on Oahu, Hawaii, the thought of a foreign adventure to explore the tropical paradise captured my fourteen-year-old imagination. I was hooked —line, sinker and all!

Many years later, after my long marriage had ended in California, the exotic Hawaiian landscapes, sunsets, and dancing palm trees beckoned. So now I was living the island dream with the charmer in my life, Mister Keeper, a Yorkshire terrier.

One warm moonlit evening, I heard melodious ukulele tunes that continued into the wee hours of the morning. The next day when Mister Keeper and I talked to a neighbor during our daily morning walk, I learned the moonlight serenade was actually a coqui frog’s mating call.

I was gobsmacked. “Isn’t the coqui indigenous to Puerto Rico? So how did it get to these islands?”

“The frog hitched a ride on a shipment of potted plants from Puerto Rico to the Big Island,” she said. “Yesterday’s plant delivery came from a nursery there and the coqui had hitched a ride on some hibiscus plants.”

What a hoot! I had mistaken the coqui’s call for a moonlight ukulele serenade!

That evening U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service invasive species techs arrived with headlights and flashlights. It didn’t take long for the singing coqui to start his amorous tunes in search for aloha and be discovered.  Alas, the coqui got a ride to the lab in a glass container!