Thursday, June 01, 2006

Frog Saga

Let me introduce my writing companions - the frogs. I don't know why, but they have ended up on my desk. When I am stuck in my writing I rearrange them into different patterns that mean something to me. Today I have rearranged them a lot.

This one I call frog orgy - I like to think that it is their favourite. It is reminiscent of our pond in spring time. Sometimes one of the small males sits by the side of the pond and croaks triumphantly - or it might be hopefully, I am not sure. Hodmandod Senior and I have spent many happy hours watching them in the evening. Their throats actually expand into a fleshy bubble underneath the chin; it is quite fascinating. Then they sit on top of each other like this for hours not doing anything much, so it seems to us, just clinging onto each other making frogspawn.

We didn't get much of a batch of frogspawn this year, it was quite a pitiful little lump. A couple of years ago there was much more so we took some inside so we could see the frogs developing from tadpoles for ourselves. The most interesting thing we noticed was that the legs of the frog develop internally and only after they have fully developed do they spring out and start kicking. When they started jumping around the kitchen we decided that it was time for them to go back into the big wild world.

I know frogs are the enemy of snails and slugs but I do love them even so.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Clare,
I am completely sympathetic to your rearranging of frogs on your writing desk, and I can only think that "frog orgy" should be conducive to creative productivity. I was just walking with my dog Belle in my husband's nursery and I came across a red eft (a kind of newt, a transitional stage in the life cycle of a salamander--I may have this wrong--but it is a beautiful shade of burnt orange with a number of brighter red spots outlined in black). The sight of one always make me happy. I walked away quickly so Belle wouldn't come along and trod on it by mistake. I have a flying pig on my writing desk. It's a miniature garden ornament, cast iron, 3 inches long by an inch and a half tall. My father's third children's book was If Pigs Could Fly. I told him it was not an original title but he chose it anyway. He liked that saying. So, off to my writing desk where a pig is flying. best, Elizabeth

Fri Jun 02, 01:58:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Last year a friend of mine spent many hours watching the frogs in his pond. That pond was ultimately well endowed with frogspawn and he made sure all the kids in the neighbourhood were aware of what was going on and invited them to see this major activity in his pond. (He's a scientist too and thus provided a running commentary...)

Sometimes I forget what it was like to be a child and these reminders (yours and his) are bliss.

I hope you get over your not-so-good-writing-day though. It was just one day in many, no doubt the impact of a stressful time and rearranging the frogs makes good therapy, I'm sure.


Sat Jun 03, 01:16:00 am  
Blogger Jonathan Wonham said...

I wonder what the next position will be?

Sat Jun 03, 11:35:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Elizabeth: Flying pigs - I like that, very symbolic - and I think the title to your father's book is good too. It certainly gets you interested...

I think you're really lucky to see newts - they are quite rare around here. I'd love to see a great crested one - an ambition of mine.

CrimeFicreader:Yes, frogs are quite wonderful little animals really. I keep wondering what it must be like to be one - how suddenly you feel this compulsion to stick your nose out into the air, because you've suddenly got one (instead of gills I mean...).

Jonathan: just bout to answer this one...

Sun Jun 04, 12:12:00 am  

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