On my way to work, I pass a substantial, dark
red brick house on Hwy. 90A that has two hugh concrete frogs on
the porch at either side of the front door. Iím not sure just what
significance frogs are on your front porch, or if there is any at
all but the frogs have large ribbon bows around their necks, as
they sit there waiting for concrete flies, I suppose.
There are many ribbon bows in our neighborhood
now - on trees, houses, bushes, cars and also bicycles. Some bows
are yellow, some are red, some white, some blue and some are red,
white, and blue with stars or stripes or both and all seem
appropriate to me. Symbolic of our times.
Those two frogs have lavender bows around their
necks and I donít have a clue about lavender bows. At first, I
thought that they were blue ribbons that had faded, but that was
not the case. They were and are lavender.
We used to have some large frogs in Fresno,
large but not the industrial size ones with those lavender
ribbons. I mean live, jumping, hopping, croaking bullfrogs. Not
those tadpole size ones whose legs you see on restaurant platters
or in some meat market counters. Iím talking about frogs the size
of a football, when theyíre all hunkered down. Frogs that can jump
20 feet in a single bound when theyíre moving from pond to creek
to river to pond as they migrate. Ones that take two hops to clear
your front yard, including over the fence.
One night as I was walking out the door to
attend a church meeting, our Basset hound set to barking in the
backyard, as if he had found something larger than a breadbox and
someone should come and see what he had. In spite of my hurry to
get to my meeting, I knew Iíd better check out the commotion
because the last time he barked like that in the backyard at
night, he had cornered a skunk under the back porch and even
though he though he got the best of the skunk, he had truly gotten
the worst of it and the clean-up took a long time. (Incidentally,
should your dog corner a skunk, milk or tomato juice helps,
gallons of either, but donít pour it on him in the kitchen while
heís barking and howling and struggling to get back outside to his
What Droopy had found was a large migrating
bullfrog that had jumped one fence too many. That frog had
hunkered down into a ball (about the size of a football) and that
dog had his front paws almost on the frogís front feet, and was
scrunched down so that he was barking almost directly into that
poor frogís face from about two or three inches away.
The frog had its eyes closed and hopefully its
ears or you could bet that by now he was deaf. When I came out
onto the porch that dog was so excited he started barking louder,
if that was possible, then looking over his shoulder at me,
wagging his tail and barking at that poor frog again. He continued
that pattern of barking, looking and wagging his tail while I
pondered what to do.
Dressed for church and with hose and high heels
on, I hesitated to get up close and personal with that potentially
explosive pair. Not wanting that frog to get away, I picked up a
wash tub, came up behind my dog so he wouldnít catch on and neatly
put the tub over the frog and backed off quickly to get out of the
way of that, by now, howling dog as he circled the tub looking for
his frog. I then picked up a large rock from my flowerbed and put
it on top of the tub.
My next step was to call one of our church
members who often hunted frogs in the area to come over and pick
up the "mother of all frogs" in my backyard before that "dawg"
figured out my tub and rock prison. Fortunately, he came in time
to get the frog and agreed that Droopy had indeed found one big
frog. I did not see the final chapter of that frog catch, but
washed my hands and went off to my meeting.
In the morning when I was telling my dad about
my frog and dawg escapade, he said, "Why didnít you just pick that
frog up?" I said, "Daddy, I wasnít dressed for picking up frogs,
and if I had Droopy would have jumped all over me to get his frog
back." I tried to explain to him where I was going and how I was
dressed, and he sorta bought my story, but he said, "Well, I
certainly hope I havenít raised a daughter that wouldnít pick up a