The True Story of a French Frog


 This is not a story of my husband, a Frenchman, although French people are often called “Frogs” probably because they eat frog legs. By the way, I asked my husband if he liked frog legs and he sat there a minute, looking into space, and said that he didn’t even know if he had ever even had any, so so much for that cliche. I also wonder why, since the French are so fond of escargots, they aren’t called “Snails” or, being the producers and consumers of so much great cheese they aren’t called “Cheese Heads”.

 In fact, this should probably be called the story of a French toad as Maurice and I can’t decide if we are talking about a toad or a frog. Since the one in question lives mostly on and about our land and not in a pond, we are assuming it is a toad.

 On with the story. We have a huge collecting tank for run-off of rain water from our house measuring about five feet by five feet by five feet. Water in very expensive in Provence and we decided it would be a good way to water our plants about the place. In fact, it probably saves us about one euro a month but at least we are trying. One day I was using the water, via a little electric pump, to water my vegetable garden. The water was getting low and I climbed up on a rock to look in the hole at the top to see what was inside. There are alot of leaves getting in the water and some green clumps of mold floating around. I happened to spot a frog/toad floating in the water. A couple of weeks ago we had seen a frog/toad in the water drain that circles our house. In fact, last winter Maurice was digging in some mud and found probably the same frog/toad, I guess, hibernating there for the winter. A few days after the sighting in the drain we had the tremendous storm which knocked out our electricity. I guess the huge amount of water pushed the poor frog/toad into the pipe leading to our water tank. It had probably been floating in the water for about a week when I spotted it. I knocked on the side of the tank and it moved.

 I am not ordinarily a rabid animal lover in that I am not out there staging protests about people wearing fur coats and I happily spread poison pellets out to kill the snails about our place, but I just couldn’t let the frog die there. So, I deeply watered my vegetable garden and the six fruit trees and got the tank almost empty. We turned the tank on its side and Maurice put in a stick thinking the frog/toad would climb up the stick and out to freedom. Why he thought this, I don’t know. I didn’t think the frog/toad would climb up the stick like a cat or a monkey and I was right as he was still there the next day. (Maurice kept calling the frog/toad a “she” as frog is feminine in French.) That was when I knew I was going to have to stick my hand into the mucky interior of the tank and remove the frog. I couldn’t get Maurice to do it, the avowed chicken heart that he is, so I put on my garden gloves-I still think frogs/toads can give you warts-threw a towel over the frog and, thank God, very easily removed it from the tank. It looked very sick but sort of moved under some leaves under a near-by tree. A few minutes later we got a very nice rain which I was thinking would help revive the toad/frog.

Maurice was outside that night and he says that he is sure he heard the frog/toad croaking. So, I didn’t save the world, or even a person, but it made me feel good that I saved “her” from a certain death. Couldn’t hurt my karma, I’m thinking.


A nice little yard that I saw in Digne-les-Bains







3 thoughts to “The True Story of a French Frog”

  1. “A kindly gesture bestowed by us on an animal arouses prodigies of understanding and gratitude.” Sidonie Gabrielle Colette

    Bien fait, Linda.


  2. Good for you! Doesn’t it make you feel good when you help someone/something! It was needing your assistance and you stuck your hand in there and just did it! I laughed about the stick. It sounds like something I would have done–anything to keep from having to touch the thing but not being able to sleep thinking it was suffering! Funny. I’m so glad you write this stuff down. Your son will laugh at you one day in reading this!!

  3. It’s the little things in life that capture our attention…and that little creature is surely grateful…at least as grateful as an amphibian can be! Since I recently read that the number of frogs in the world is diminishing at a catastrophically rapid rate, you did a better deed than you might have originally thought. I enjoyed reading about the adventure. Thanks.

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