It's Raining Frogs

Milton Lesser | published Dec, 1950

added Jun 9, 2024
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First Date of Publication
Dec, 1950
Original Source
Imagination
Original Source Type
Magazine - Pulp
Medium
Novellette
Original Language
English
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Summary: Are four-dimensional beings responsible for all the strange occurrences like “frog rain” reported by Charles Fort and other chroniclers of the mysterious? Would the four-dimensional beings have the same emotions and desires as humans? A limited-range story speaking to these in pulp-format…

Story Tag Line: “George didn’t like the idea of little red frogs raining down on him from a clear sky. But a pretty girl falling into his arms was quite another matter!”

“A four dimensional being would have the same power over this three dimensional world. He could make things appear and disappear easily, simply by transporting them through the fourth dimension. And that, my friend, explains everything strange and unreal and impossible which this man Fort reported. It was simply the intervention of a four dimensional being.”

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  • Vijay Fafat
    Published on

    This is another silly story about the fourth dimension, how those who have access to it can teleport completely confined objects in three dimensions out of their confinement to another location without creating any rifts or tears, and so on.

    The story takes off as its starting point the following excerpt from Charles Fort’s book, “Lo!”

    “We shall pick up an existence by its frogs … Wise men have tried other ways. They have tried to understand our state of being, by grasping at its stars, or its arts, or its economics. But, if there is an underlying oneness of all things, it does not matter where we begin, whether with stars, or laws of supply and demand, or frogs, or Napoleon Bonaparte. One measures a circle, beginning anywhere.” —Charles Fort , LO!

    Charles Fort, of course, was a well-known chronicler of the mysterious, the unexplained, document several cases of animals raining over unsuspecting populace, amongst other things.

    Well, George is “a catalyst, a Fortean”, as his wife, Myra, calls him. He attracts rains of frogs, insects, beetles, and other organic matter. Turns out he can summon the creatures from the fourth dimension without exactly knowing how. On one such occasion, he ends up trapping “a king” from the fourth dimension, who explains to him the same things the Sphere had explained to the Square in “Flatland”:

    “Okay. I’ll begin with a question. Do you know anything about the fourth dimension ?”

    George was silent, but Myra said: “I know all about the fourth dimension.”

    “You just think you do. Actually, you don’t know a thing about it. A lot of fuzzy thinking here in the world of three dimensions, but you really don’t know a thing about it.”

    “Oh,” said Myra. “You tell her, Arl, old boy,”

    George said. “You tell her. That guy Fort didn’t know what he was talking about.”

    “Fort? Fort? Oh—yes he did. He knew what he was talking about. But he didn’t know how or why. This is a world of three dimensions, right?”

    “Uh-huh.”

    “Well, let’s assume you had a world of two dimensions. Of length and breadth, but no thickness. How would you get a world of three dimensions?”

    George said, “Search me,” but Myra went into a long explanation which George didn’t understand at all

    When she finished, Arl shook his head. “Just what I thought. A lot of fuzzy thinking. Unfortunately, you’re way off the beam. It’s really simple. You have a world of two dimensions — length and breadth, and all you have to do to get a world of three dimensions is extend that world in a new direction — perpendicular to the first two. That direction is up or down, as the case may be. Either way, it’s a direction at right angles to the first two, and the result is a world of three dimensions, this world.”

    George said he understood. “But that doesn’t mean I’m going to send you back,” he added. Arl was all wrapped up in his explanation, and he ignored the remark. “Now, then. The same situation applies. The same relation exists between a world of three dimensions and one of four. You merely extend the three dimensions out in a direction at right angles to them —a direction which is perpendicular to length, breadth and thickness , and the result is a world of four dimensions. That’s my world.”

    George was feeling chipper. “Well, a pat on the backside for you,” he said. “Now I suppose you want me to send you back?” Arl waved his hand. “No. I’m not finished. Let’s go a step further. If a world of two dimensions existed—a whole world spread out perfectly flat on this table, with no dimension other than length or breadth, a flat world—if that world existed, do you realize all the power you, as a three dimensional being, would have over it?”

    George said that he didn’t.

    “Well, suppose something was enclosed in a square on that table. Just four lines, a square. That would be the equivalent of a cube in this world —say, of a safe. Say there was something in that square that the people of the flat world wanted to get out. But the square was locked. It was just four lines, forming an enclosed space, but because there was no such thing as up or down in that world, they couldn’t get over , those lines and get out what they were looking for. It was utterly inaccessible. “Now, then. You’re a three dimensional creature. All you’d have to do is reach down, pick the item up, transport it through the third dimension, and put it down again outside the square. You would have done the impossible. You would have taken something out of an utterly inaccessible place and put it elsewhere. Mysteriously. “So, just change the situation a bit. A four dimensional being would have the same power over this three dimensional world. He could make things appear and disappear easily, simply by transporting them through the fourth dimension. And that, my friend, explains everything strange and unreal and impossible which this man Fort reported. It was simply the intervention of a four dimensional being. One of my subjects. When the call comes through, your people are not even aware that they give it. But when it does come through, we answer. And here the call was the strongest on record. I’m the king and I came through myself. But we can’t come through and we can’t go back without the call. That’s you, George, and it was all a mistake. Now will you send me back?”

    From there, the story devolves into some silly idea about the Queen of the fourth dimension being a kleptomaniac, stealing 3-dimensional jewelry at whim, and how it all gets stopped in the end. Too juvenile by half. Quite avoidable.

    “Narka [the Queen] cannot resist the impulse to steal everything she likes in this dimension. She simply takes what she likes, and I know several cases in which one of your three dimensional men went to jail for a series of robberies committed by the Queen.” “That’s ridiculous,” George said. “How can she steal so many things?” Arl shook his head. “You’re forgetting the relationship between the three and four dimensional worlds again. Remember, it’s like you and that square on the table. How would you get a necklace out of that square without crossing any of its lines?” “Why — why, I’d simply lift the necklace up and then put it down on the other side of one of the lines.” “Exactly. That’s what Narka’s doing. She sees what she likes, lifts it up out of your three dimensional existence, momentarily carries it through the fourth dimension, and puts it down here. When she has all she wants, she’ll come for her booty, then I’m afraid she’ll take me home with her. Only she’ll be very mad. She won’t speak to me for a week — she’ll do other things, bad things. I wish you had never called me, George.”