Iron & Bass

The Frog Life of Reggie

Joe Parker - Oct. 1, 2003

Part I

Reggie le Grenouille was an exceptionally gifted young frog. This was not a surprise, for his parents were also exceptionally gifted.

His father, a famous frog general, commanded the frog militia's 86th Battalion in the French district of the big city.

Reggie was proud of his father, whose military exploits made him a district celebrity. The general's fame afforded him many privileges which he generously shared with his family and friends.

Between campaigns the general was offered a suite at the Ribbit Club, where his children tapdanced on the hardwood floor of the parlor room as their father entertained guests with a game of cards.

That parlor was the general's favorite room. His wife's favorite room was the kitchen. This was not a surprise, for she was a chef.

Madame le Grenouille was always creating new dishes and feeding them to her taste testers. The general thought her cooking was bland. But he could never complain.

Years ago, following the Bataille de l'etang, the general convinced her to leave culinary school and start a family. Only three credits short of graduation, she missed a critical series of lectures entitled, "The Application of Spice & Seasoning."

What her meals lacked in flavor they compensated for in initiative, and her recipes, including "Fish and Fried Onions Arranged in a Manner Suggesting Post-Impressionism" and "Snails, Sausage and Spaghetti: An Exercise in Chaos Theory," were invariably awarded 'Most Ambitious" at the district cookoff each fall.

This made the general proud, and he always ordered the battalion cook to learn his wife's winning recipes before setting out on a new campaign.

Part II

When he was a tadpole, Reggie dreamed he would grow up to be a famous frog general like his father. He led his peers on practice raids against other young frogs in the neighborhood.

But by the time he grew legs he had other interests, such as competitive freestyle swimming.

Reggie was a fast swimmer, and won several blue ribbons which he hung on the wall of the bedroom he shared with his little sister, Sam.

Part III

Many years later, Reggie was an old man. Every day at 5 o'clock he lay down to take a nap before dinner. Sometimes he had trouble sleeping, and stayed awake for several minutes thinking all sorts of silly things.

On such an afternoon, Reggie decided that his all-time favorite memory of childhood was the time he and Sam made a rubber band cannon and shot acorns at the human children's ankles outside the School de la Jeunesse.

"It still makes me laugh today," he thought to himself, then fell asleep with a smile on his face.