It's a frog's life.
I have no clue what I mean by that. All I know is that frogs keep hopping up wherever I turn. If you're squeamish about frogs, you may want to leap clear of me.
It's like the old saying, you have to kiss a lot of frogs to make an omelet.
No, wait, that's not it. I meant the early frog catches the 7:15 for Halstead.
No, no. It'll come to me. I think my brain is full of tadpoles.
Anyway, this whole froggy business began with research for a writing project.
Do you know there are 4,800 known species of frogs? They come in about a gazillion shades of reds, blues, yellows, oranges and purples. Oh, yeah, and in greens.
You can find them in trees, ponds, forests, bogs, stews, sock drawers of little sisters, lots of places. Here a frog, there a frog, everywhere a frog, frog, Old McDonald had a...
No, that's not it, either.
Anyway, amid a group of people, I sat at a computer listening to frog calls through headphones. Unfortunately, the volume was cranked and the headphones weren't secure. Heads everywhere whipped in my direction, eyes as big as, well, frogs.
I caught a fly, ate it, then turned down the volume. As Kermit the Frog once said, ''Time's fun when you're having flies.''
I discovered that I much prefer chocolate chips. It's not easy not being a frog and eating flies.
And remember, you can catch more frogs with honey than flies you can shake a stick at.
No, still not the right maxim. But I'll keep dipping my flippers off the lily pad.
Anyway, my research showed that frogs do more than ribbit. They peep, chirp, cluck, croak, growl, burp - basically, it's the same sounds you hear after all the guys have fallen asleep in front of a football game on TV.
My next frog encounter came when my grandson came to visit. We tried to catch frogs from a stream. All we caught were the ripples where frogs used to be. The tiny hoppers dived too quickly for a kid who had to wait for a Pop Pops with very little hop hop to cross the stream rocks.
I chalked it up to frog species number 4,801 - invisible frogs.
Was the saying look before you leap because when Froggy went a courtin', he did ride?
Then there was that Tibetan proverb, ''It is a truly wise man who does not play leap frog with a unicorn.''
We're getting closer.
Anyway, a couple days later in church, the pastor recounted the 10 plagues God brought on the Egyptians through Moses. The second plague was frogs. They had frogs everywhere. Underfoot, overfoot, between toes, in the flour, in the bed, in the hamper - everywhere frogs weren't supposed to be, they were.
Shortly after Moses begged God to recall the frogs, plague No. 3 hit - flies. But the frogs who could snap up the problem were gone.
But there's no sense crying over buckets of spilt frogs.
That was the next froggy encounter. Labor Day brought frog-jumping contests in places like Greene and Burton. It was a lot like the short story ''The Jumping Frog of Calaveras County,'' by Mark Twain.
Wait. That's it! The maxim I've been trying to remember. It was from Mark Twain:
''If it's your job to eat a frog, it's best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it's your job to eat two frogs, it's best to eat the biggest one first.''
I hope that does it for my plague of frogs.
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