It’s raining frogs!
A long, long time ago, when I was just a little girl, my Granny told me of the day she’d seen it raining frogs in Birmingham. In those days people didn’t know much about the weather or the environment and everyone laughed and didn’t believe her. So here’s my story, many, many years later, about what I think may have happened ……….
“Squiggle Brown says his pond’s much better than ours,” complained Tad, “Why can’t we go and live over there?”
“Because this is our home,” answered Granny, “all our relations live here.”
“But Squiggle Brown says …”
“I don’t care what Squiggle Brown says,” interrupted Granny, who by now was heartily sick of listening to her grandson’s complaints, “This is our home.”
“It’s not fair!”
”Taddy Pole will you stop complaining. Your mother will be home soon, go and moan to her!”
“Squiggle Brown says there’s lots of lovely algae on his pond – and millions of flies.”
Granny, who’d heard of nothing but ‘Squiggle Brown’ since Squiggle had come for a sleepover the previous week, leapt into the water to block out the sound of Tad’s moans. Tad sat on a lily-pad and sulked. If he closed one eye and squinted he could just make out Squiggle’s pond across the field, over by the big oak tree.
“If they won’t move over there, then I’m going alone,” he croaked to himself.” It shouldn’t take long if I take big jumps. I’m going no matter what Gran says.”
So, having looked around to make sure the coast was clear, off he went. He knew not to use his croak, which was just developing, and of which he was very proud, for fear someone should hear. The journey took longer than he’d thought, as the day was very hot and he needed to stop several times to rest. When at last he reached Squiggle’s pond he was disappointed to see it wasn’t as clean as he’d imagined. Tin cans and the remains of picnics were floating on the water. However, he could see the algae and there were certainly plenty of flies buzzing about.
“What you doin ‘ere?” croaked Squiggle.
“I’ve come to live with you,” said Tad proudly.
Just then the wind blew a brown paper bag in the air which landed on the top of Tad’s head, making them both laugh. The pond that had been so still then started to ripple – and as the wind got up further, the leaf they’d been sitting on got swept to the middle of the pond. The sun went in and big black clouds appeared – much bigger and blacker than Tad could ever remember seeing before.
“Looks like a storm’s coming,” said Squig, who knew everything.
Soon the pond was swirling and sloshing about as the wind increased its strength. It felt like they were being frog marched back and forth across the pond. Tad had never experienced anything like it before and he was very frightened – but he wasn’t going to admit that to Squig. Actually Squig was also frightened and soon the young frogs clung to one another so as not to get swept off their leaf. The wind then started spiralling and the two friends found themselves going round and round, as if on a merry-go-round. Unable to hold on to each other any longer, they knew, as they got sucked up higher and higher into the sky, they were on their own. Tad was carried along at fifty miles an hour, he hadn’t even enough breath to cry out for help. He was spinning so fast he’d no idea where he was. Then suddenly the spinning stopped – stopped while he was miles up in the air with nothing to hold on to. He felt a big blob of water hit his nose and could do nothing as the rain washed him, like a waterfall from the sky. Then bump … well more like a crash really … and it hurt … and he was …. where? He’d landed on a little wooden bridge … the little wooden bridge that went over his pond …
“Ah, there you are Taddy,” said Granny. “It’s a good job we didn’t go and live in Squiggle Brown’s pond. They’ve just had a whirlwind over there!”
Moral – Always listen to Granny – the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.
My Granny was born in 1886 – and raining frogs were reported in Birmingham in 1902 – she would have been 6 years old.