Tag Archives: frogs

1952. On wicked witches and stepmothers

For too long now witches have been denigrated by folk tales. It’s atrocious the press they get. They have hooked noses with warts. They have bony fingers. They wear black gowns and pointy hats. They are ugly. They are cruel. They are revolting, and turn nice children into frogs when they are not eating them.

The only thing worse than witches are stepmothers. Stepmothers are buxom and have a nasty streak. They are cruel, usually to step daughters, and there is very little explanation given as to why a husband ever married one.

Bodice was both a witch and a stepmother. She had the worst characteristics of both. Her plump face with a hooked nose matched her buxom physique with its bony fingers. She was nasty in the extreme. Once, when the lovely Cinderella was singing quietly while sweeping the kitchen, Bodice crept up behind her and whacked Cinderella one over the head with the broomstick. There was no reason for it, and the broomstick was determined not to fly again in the foreseeable future.

Cinderella was prepared. She whipped out a pistol hidden under her duster and was able to bind the wrists of Bodice. When she locked Bodice up in the dog pen she had no intention of fattening Bodice up further. “I don’t like tough, stringy meat,” said Cinderella. “She can starve to death.”

“Let me out! Let me out!” cackled Bodice. “I repent! Never again will I be cruel.”

“Now you know what it’s like when the shoe is on the other foot,” tinkled Cinderella sweetly. “I hope you have learnt your lesson and that your repentance is genuine.”

Cinderella let Bodice out of the dog pen. Immediately Bodice turned Cinderella into a frog, which she would have done earlier while in the dog pen but then there would have been no way for Bodice to get out.

And since folk tales should end reasonably nicely, Bodice also turned the handsome prince into a frog and all lived happily ever after until they croaked.

1890. A spelling competition

Once upon a time a coven of witches were having a spelling competition. These weren’t the nice witches that one finds in real life; these were witches one finds in fairy tales; bad ones. For example, Noratia Cacklebother had been involved in the abduction of Hansel and Gretel. On this particular day it was raining and all the witches were sitting in a circle bored out of their tree. Rutterkindle Not(e)worthy suggested they have a spelling competition, and since she was the only one with a dictionary it seemed wise that she be the compere and ask the questions.

There were many interesting words thrown up for consideration. Noratia Cacklebother got stuck on spelling “Handkerchief” because she pronounced it without the “D”. They had gone around the circle three times and everyone had got things right except for Noratia Cacklebother who also misspelled “pharaoh” and “cassowary”. She was embarrassed. She was enraged. She stood. She proclaimed.

“You want to know how to spell?” she screamed. “Then I’ll teach you how to spell.”

By the left eye of the crocodile,
With a little nip of parsley and a slither of snake,
By the tuatara’s middle eye,
With a dash of nutmeg and a wriggling worm half-baked.

All the witches were completely caught off guard.

WHOOSH! waved Noratia Cacklebother with her wand. All were turned into frogs. Permanently.

Good riddance, I say. They were a nasty lot. But be a bit careful if you bump into Noratia Cacklebother. She’s still in a fluster.

1465. Skinks, lizards, and geckos

Bertram collected reptiles. (To each their own). He collected skinks, lizards, and geckos. He didn’t collect snakes, crocodiles and alligators, komodo dragons, frogs, turtles, tortoises, or tuataras. Just skinks, lizards, and geckos.

He used to breed them for sale. He also used to capture wild reptiles and export and sell them. It was illegal. You’ve no idea the clever ways he used to surreptitiously transport them! He had done it all his life and never once been caught.

Selling reptiles was so lucrative that he had built a luxurious log cabin in the wilderness that had every commodity. He certainly lived the good life thanks to those skinks and lizards and geckos. It’s amazing to think that over the years he handled twenty-seven species that are now extinct. What an amazing record! What a great privilege to have been the last on the planet to see and handle those creatures! I’m quite in awe! I asked Bertram how he felt about it but he said he didn’t have any feelings. He was in it for the money.

1229. Paranoia overcome

Avis was paranoid, not about spiders, oh no! Not about centipedes, oh no! Not about bugs, or birds, or even terrestrial pulmonate gastropod molluscs, oh no!

Avis was paranoid about tadpoles. If those little slimy eyeballs with a tail could grow legs, what else could they do? Grow claws? Tentacles? Great gnashing teeth?

And the fact that they grew into land-hopping creatures, would they jump out of their pond and leap into her bedroom at night? Avis shut her bedroom window and drew the curtains.

And then the inevitable happened, for this is a story is it not? Avis overcame her paranoia when she kissed a frog and turned into a reptile herself. They married and lived happily ever after.

She and her husband produced a bunch of sprogs, and the sprogs lived happily ever after too. One of them was able to transmogrify into a terrestrial pulmonate gastropod mollusc when it was called for, although eventually it was devoured by a hungry sibling.

24. Janet

24frog

Janet hated frogs — so it was perfectly understandable that her enemies at school put them in her desk, and in her bag, and under her chair, and in her lunch box.

When she discovered one lurking, she simply ran. Anywhere. And would leave her freshly opened plastic sandwich container, or her books, sprawled all along the track of escape. In fact, her teachers could find her simply by tracing the artefacts of flight.

One teacher was a particularly nasty piece of work. He’d drink at night and take the resulting irrationality out on his pupils the next day. Twice he’d followed Janet as she escaped from a threatening amphibian, and twice he’d terrified her back into the classroom by throwing a frog at her. He thought it was funny. Personally, I think he was a toad.

One day things went overboard and nearly everyone in the class produced a frog at the same time. There was no escape. They were in her desk, her lunch box, and in the hand of every one between her and the door. It was the frog season. She just blubbered, and sat there, and blubbered. The teacher didn’t mind — he was the frog-throwing shit.

So she just blubbered.

A number of years later, she lived with a man. And a few years after that, and a baby, she discovered that frogs were nothing by comparison.