Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Go over here and read about Fretful Porpentine's troubles with toads (or frogs, whatever). Heee! I am amused.

And while we're on the topic I'll post one of my favorite poems, which indeed could be retitled "Why I Do Not Go Camping Although I Would Love To In Theory." (Maybe I should quote from Aristophanes's The Frogs, instead? Brek-kek-kek-kek-koax, koax!)

Toads, yum!


All year the flax-dam festered in the heart
Of the townland; green and heavy headed
Flax had rotted there, weighted down by huge sods.
Daily it sweltered in the punishing sun.
Bubbles gargled delicately, bluebottles
Wove a strong gauze of sound around the smell.
There were dragon-flies, spotted butterflies,
But best of all was the warm thick slobber
Of frogspawn that grew like clotted water
In the shade of the banks. Here, every spring
I would fill jampotfuls of the jellied
Specks to range on window-sills at home,
On shelves at school, and wait and watch until
The fattening dots burst into nimble-
Swimming tadpoles. Miss Walls would tell us how
The daddy frog was called a bullfrog
And how he croaked and how the mammy frog
Laid hundreds of little eggs and this was
Frogspawn. You could tell the weather by frogs too
For they were yellow in the sun and brown
In rain.
Then one hot day when fields were rank
With cowdung in the grass the angry frogs
Invaded the flax-dam; I ducked through hedges
To a coarse croaking that I had not heard
Before. The air was thick with a bass chorus.
Right down the dam gross-bellied frogs were cocked
On sods; their loose necks pulsed like sails. Some hopped:
The slap and plop were obscene threats. Some sat
Poised like mud grenades, their blunt heads farting.
I sickened, turned, and ran. The great slime kings
Were gathered there for vengeance and I knew
That if I dipped my hand the spawn would clutch it.

© 1987 Seamus Heaney


The Angry Swan said...

Is it weird that I think that thing's totally cute? Look at its hostile little eyes!

Horace said...

Cute? That Toad is totally bada$$. If it were in "Frog and Toad Are Friends" Frog and Toad would be out drinking, whoring, and generally blowin' up joints.

Also, though I was raised the camping sort, I can no longer endorse it. Frogs, crickets: all of those I can handle. When beavers start thwacking their tails on the lake outside of your tent. . . well, then things get interesting, and not in a good way.

My Captcha is "outdo" which seems vaguely meta...something.

Anonymous said...

I'm a little afraid of that frog in the pic.

(Sis, can you tell me more about Bloglines or Reader? Can you set them up to read without having to sign into Google?)