THE LONELY FROG
© 2008 - Melanie Hefford

The Lonely Frog tells the story of a frog who thought he was a frog and realises ¬†that his own kind have deserted him because his environment has become¬† increasingly neglected and used as a dumping ground for mans’ rubbish. It is then given the all clear for building work to begin, until some wildlife protectors step in and halt the work at the last minute because they see he is not a frog at all, but a rare kind of toad.

The poem narrates the unique emotions of the frog and interprets the world through the frog’s eyes as it changes to the first stanza as the story unfolds.

The poem works on two levels: to inform and educate, or just to enjoy reading it.

 

There was a frog
A lonely frog
Who lived all on his own;
The garden he was in he loved
But couldn’t call it home.
‘Twas full of rubble, bricks, and glass
That humans had thrown out there.
It was, in short, an awful mess,
They didn’t seem to care

They paved the garden,
Front and back
And took away the grass.
Poor froggy’s hi-light of the night
Was watching cars drive past.

“This just won’t do”,
He told himself,
“It’s going on too long,
This human species I don’t like,
They really make a pong!
I don’t know how they live together,
Noisy, smelly things;
They take away my home
And now I’m left without a thing!

The space I called my home has shrunk,
There’s nothing I can do
And now there are just plastic bins
And piles of doggy poo!”

Poor frog, he sat, and looked, and stared,
And pondered on his life;
If things went on like this for long
He’d never get a wife.
No froggy females to admire
While by the pond he’d sit.
The pond was now some patio
Made out of wooden bits.

He sat, and sighed
Night after night
‘Twas nothing he could do.
No slugs or snails to fill his tum,
They’d all turned into goo.
Those slug pellets that man puts down
Don’t make the garden better;
They kill the slugs and snails, they do,
On days when it is wetter.

“I cannot live without my food,
I need those snails and slugs,
But man, he keeps on killing them,
Along with all the bugs.

Now what am I supposed to do
When hunger comes a calling?
Now man has killed off all my food,
The menu’s just appalling!
I barely have the energy
To wake from hibernation,
And when I do
I find my world
Has turned to devastation.

I loved that pond, I really did,
I lived in it for years,
And now it’s gone
It makes me sad
And fills my eyes with tears.
Where will I go
When spring comes ‘round
And frogs get very friendly?
My outlook now is paving slabs
And some outsized old Bentley.

My froggy friends have left the scene,
There’s nothing for them here,
Just some young bloke in dungarees
Who’s swigging on his beer.

But wait, what’s this
He’s bringing in?
Oh no! A massive digger!
‘This is the end’,
I say, ‘my friend’,
‘Just point, and pull the trigger’.

I need a garden, need a pond,
I need some green, green grass.
The life I had when I was young,
I knew it couldn’t last.

I crouched there
Staring at the sky
The digger seemed so tall.
I try to move,
My legs won’t work,
I stumble and I crawl.

Next thing I know,
Four big green boots,
They stare me in the face.
A hand comes down
From out the sky
And lifts me into space.

They hold me up
And stare at me
And breathe on me, real close;
Their breath is hot,
Their hands are warm,
(The thing I hate the most!)

I’m frightened now,
I’m really scared,
They look at me and talk.
I don’t know what to do right now,
I really feel a dork!

My head is spinning round and round,
I’m really quite high up.
I want to shuffle off and jump,
But mustn’t try my luck.
‘It’s too far down’, I tell myself,
While peering off the edge.
‘It’s too far down, I’d hurt myself
And fall right in that hedge!’

Another frog I see they’ve found,
But this one runs for cover.
They shout out loud “another one!”
And hold me while they hover.

They’ve seen a stripe upon it’s back,
It gives the game away.
He can’t move fast,
They pick him up
And place him on a tray.
They measure him
And hold him up
And talk excited chatter.
He looks like me,
But bigger still
And definitely fatter!

The humans with the big green boots
They hold up both their hands,
“This all must stop!”
I hear them shout,
“You’re ruining their land.
This species is a ‘Natterjack’,
A special kind of toad”.
A toad? I thought I was a frog!
Well goodness, I’ll be blowed!

The humans place us on the ground
And measure us, and then
We’re put inside some weighing bag
And taken out again.
I wonder what is going on,
This really seems quite strange.
The digger’s stopped
What happens next
It makes my whole life change.

As days go by and turn to weeks
My home is quiet again.
The digger’s gone,
The noise, the pong,
It’s all gone thanks to them,
These people with the big green boots
Have really made things better.
They’ve cleared the pond,
They’ve helped us out,
And all down to one letter.
It’s on a post for all to see,
Keeps messy humans out,
‘WILDLIFE RESERVE, Please NO ENTRY
You touch the toads you’re out!’’’

As years go by,
The seasons change
And Spring turns into Summer,
The toad that thought he was a frog,
His life’s no more a bummer.

His friends are slowly coming back
The toads march to their home.
What once was theirs is theirs again
He’ll never be alone.

The story doesn’t finish here,
We all must now remember
That if we see a frog or toad
Come May, June, or September
We must respect its toady ways
And live in harmony.
We must preserve what once was his
For all the world to see.

For if we don’t we’ll find that toad
May be alone again
Let’s help him out,
Let’s keep him safe
And happy with his friends.