It seems there’s a day or month to celebrate everything under the sun. April is National Frog Month.
Some might ask why should we celebrate the frog? Well, to me, the frog is one of the most anticipated harbingers of spring. When I was a boy their singing from a nearby marsh announced the arrival of this cherished season. The marsh is gone now, paved over and sanitized. I miss that familiar herald and have to go elsewhere in search of it. Though more fond of birds, the noble Gilbert White among other naturalists had good things to say for the amphibian.
The back legs of a frog are a delicacy worthy of gratitude, and the source of an unflattering nickname for our French friends.
In many cultures the lowly frog is considered magic and symbolic of water and, therefore, life. The frog and lotus symbol is found all over Egypt and India. Frogs are also found frequently in the myths of the American Indian. If you care to go classical, consider Plutarch’s comment, “…though the boys throw stones at frogs in sport, yet the frogs do not die in sport but in earnest.”
The frog hasn’t fared so well in literature. There’s that repugnant reference in Macbeth and the sporting link in Twain’s tale. He comes off little better in Ovid’s “Metamorphoses” when the shepherds are turned to frogs for having taunted Latona.
Really though, there’s a serious reason for paying homage to the humble frog. Their numbers are declining and scientists are concerned not only for the welfare of the frog but for what it might mean to us and other creatures. The National Wildlife Federation is looking for volunteers for its Frogwatch USA program which seeks means of helping the frog survive. Check out the program here http://www.nwf.org/WildlifeWatch/