My nine-year-old grandson, Brody Barnett, didn’t catch his parents by surprise when he announced weeks ago that he wanted a frog for his birthday.
The lad long has been fascinated by frogs and he has captured dozens and dozens in creeks and ponds. He even told his mother he wanted to study amphibians in college.
Upon hearing of his gift request, I realized that he might need a good name for his hoped-for frog. Everyone knows that kids like to name their pets.
I decided to help him with some suggestions of frog names.
My grandmother used to sing “Froggy Went A-Courtin” but that name has been around for a long, long time.
“Lilly Paddy” was the name of a girl frog in children’s literature but Brody’s new frog might not be a girl. I even thought about “Gorf” which is frog spelled backwards.
“Jeremiah” was the name of a bullfrog made world famous by the British singing group, Three Dog Night. “Brer Bullfrog” appears in several of the old Uncle Remus books and cartoons from Disney.
“Dan’l Webster” was the name given “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County”, a wonderful short story by Mark Twain.
According to my Internet research, the most popular frog name is “Kermit” because of the fame of Jim Henson’s Muppets and Sesame Street. Kermit’s nephew, “Robin”, came from the same outfit.
Kermit’s theme song, “It’s Not Easy Being Green”, was recorded by the likes of Frank Sinatra and Ray Charles.
And who could forget that great Super Bowl beer commercial from Anheuser Busch that featured three croaking frogs in a lily pond?
Of that gifted trio, my favorite name was “Bud Weiser” but, again, Brody is much too young to appreciate that piece of pop culture history.
The big day came and Brody, to his delight, received a South American horned frog, also known as a “Pacman” because of its large mouth and shape.
I never got a chance to suggest names because Brody, who loves pancakes, came up with the perfect moniker:
(Keith Kappes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 356-0912).