A Frog in every (Flower) Pot

A frog enters a bank, looking for a loan. He approaches the loan officer, Patty Black, and makes his request known. Taken somewhat aback, she tells him they bank doesn’t typically make loans to frogs.
“But please,” exclaims the frog, “I really need this loan.”
“Do you have any collateral?” asks Ms. Black.
“Only this,” he says. With that, the frog pulls from his pocket an object and hands it to Ms. Black. Not knowing what it was, but being too embarrassed to say so, she takes the object to the bankmanager and explains about the frog and his request for a loan.
“Sir, I don’t even know what this is but it’s all he has for collateral,” she tells him.
The manager takes the objects, looks at it for a moment, hands it back and tells her, “Why, it’s a nick-knack, Patty Black, give the frog a loan!”
The aforementioned critter, poor in monetary funds but rich in wit and also the color green, I’m sure, may have been thinking of my garden when he proffered his little toy.
My own garden contains many icons of frogs, accumulated over many years, from friends, or even from yard sales when I would see something I could add to the collection scattered in my gardens. So, over the years, the collection just kept growing and now I have some friends to welcome me each day as I meander through the greenery. Meet the gang:
Upon coming through my driveway gate, you will be welcomed by this casual observer of all things green and otherwise. Lazing among the hostas and ferns of my shade garden, he has continually smirked at my efforts at bending and pulling to make his home more pleasant. I like coming into my yard and seeing this hearty statement, sans the booming frog’s voice. Join us one of these days to check the progress of the seasons in our shady nook.

 This is a rather secretive fellow. He hides under leaves of hosta near my pond. He has been beset by an ant nest lately, and they use him to hide under in turn. He is from Pennsylvania, and belonged to my sister. He was there when there was health; he was there through sickness. Always looking surprised at being noticed. I think he prefers the silent companionship thing, myself.

 This little stoner is very heavy. He has settled on a rock where he overlooks the fish and plants living in the dark waters. He is quite impassive. It’s hard to read his stoic expression. But if he could talk, he’d probably say “I’m a girl, damm(ribb)it!” Just a bit of frog humor. He stays outside through snow and winter, because the heavy concrete he’s made of just blends in to the rockiness and sturdiness of his surroundings.

 A gift from a friend. Shy, cute, wearing a little straw hat, this tiny fellow hides among my cottage perennials in my front yard. He is so small; he is dwarfed by everything, and had to be taken out from his original location, where he stared, stricken, at a small shelf fungus that had established itself on a decorative piece of wood. Now he watches the sedums and other weeds try to take over, as summer approaches and the weather warms.

 Not a frog but a toad! This fellow is also from my sister’s house in Pennsylvania. He does go inside for the winter. I wouldn’t want to risk losing such a fine, fat fellow to the weather. In the meantime, he serves as a reminder that toads are an important part of the ecosystem in our suburbs and need to be helped along sometimes. Even if in effigy.

Another frog that has been a garden denizen for a couple of years now takes a rest in the birdbath located in the back border. Eventually he has to realize that the ground is much safer, especially if a large blue jay or grackle decide to take a bath. But it is such fun to see him sitting there irreverently smiling at the antics of the little goddess and her dolphin. Maybe he is waiting for me to change the water, something I’ve been bad about with all the spring rain.

And lastly, a whimsical addition to my frog army. This is actually a small sprinkler. You can hook a hose up to her(?) and enjoy a gentle, mild spray. The water is quite ineffective. Too little of it and it gets sucked up by the air before it reaches the ground. But it doesn’t matter. My niece gave me this item, and it is a favorite toy that I have had for many years. I keep it coddled so as not to chip or crack, but hardly ever use it for watering. Still, it is fun to look at and has great colors.
So my frog collection is here for you to see. I’m not looking for more frogs…I would much prefer real living ones  in my pond. Above is a photo I edited of my “real” frog. I called him Banjo, because the call of the Green Frog sounds like plucking on a string of that instrument. Unfortunately, sightings were few and far between. As of this spring of 2011, I haven’t heard any tentative pond-bound sounds. But I am hopeful that somehow another frog will make its way to the network of garden ponds that constitute my neighborhood. 
– and fill the air once again with the sound of amphibious life and help put a frog near every flower pot in town.

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