Elanor the Frog
In 1994 I was in Bali with Sidney, and we found a baby frog in our room! I had a bad case of 'Bali Belly' just as we were leaving, and by the time we got to Raffles in Singapore, I was quite sick. Sidney went out exploring, and I sat on the balcony with my laptop, and wrote this story
Elanor the frog kept a very tidy house. The larder was always full of flies, and she was held in great respect by the local frog community.
Her husband, Gorlock the frog, was very proud of her, and pride is very important to a frog – he puffed out his chest so everyone could see.
Elanor and Gorlock came from a generation of frogs with Anglo-Saxon names. Names are important to frogs too, and have very strict rules, as we shall see.
One morning at breakfast, Elanor cleared her throat, and said a little nervously, “Gorlock dear, I went to the doctors yesterday, and I, well, that is to say, I am with frog!”
Now as you know, frogs don’t have one baby at a time, but lots of them. But somehow, to say “Darling I am with 100 frogs” loses the romance of the moment a little, and in any case, frogs learn not to get too attached to their baby frogs until they are large enough to have names, as they lose so many of them.
“Well my dear”, said Gorlock, “That’s wonderful news! I can’t wait to call the Lucetti-Fantonni’s and tell them!”
The Lucetti-Fantonni’s were from the generation in which all frogs had Italian names – a little older than the Elanor-Gorlocks, but still the best of friends. You will notice that frogs don’t have surnames, but take the names of both parents as their family name.
The great day came, and there were a hundred little frogs in the pond. But the fishes ate many of them, and the birds ate a lot more, and some other families of frogs ate a few more, which was very inconsiderate of them.
Eventually there were just three left, but they were the strongest and the healthiest of all the frogs, which is how these things worked.
Gorlock puffed out his chest and announced that his first son would be called Goerthe, his second son would be called Eisel, and his beloved daughter would be called Brunhilda – for in this generation, frogs were to have names of ancient German origin.
Now, little frogs living at home take on their family name, so these three frogs were called Goerthe Elanor-Gorlock, Eisel Elanor-Gorlock, and Brunhilda Elanor-Gorlock.
This is usually as far as it goes, but Brunhilda turned out to be an errant daughter, and was with frog while still at home.
Despite the family’s best efforts, one of the little frogs got through the attentions of the fishes, the birds, and the other frog families, to be named O’Malley Brunhilda-Unknown Elanor-Gorlock.
This greatly upset poppa frog Gorlock who, declaring that “This name is too much of a mouthful for any frog”, ate little O’Malley frog in a single gulp!