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This is a poem which I wrote many long years ago. To give it some context, I have had the frog in question following me around for all of my adult (not grown-up) life and it's orgins were back in my childhood. I was raised in Northern Minnesota not terribly far from where my father grew up. My mother was a southern girl from the state of Virginia and endured the northern climes, but we regularly vacationed in the south and were always surrounded by her large and loving family. My grandparents were working class folks and had 8 children who grew to adulthood and had their own large broods resulting in a plethora of grandchildren at every family gathering. My grandfather, Ira Lloyd Worley, was a somewhat patient, ever practical man that found himself the patriarch of these teeming dozens of kinfolk and found it easiest to refer to every male child in the group as John. This was ironic in that there wasn't a single John amongst us, but it seemed to work well for him. With all the ruckus, rigamarole,and general ado that comes with so many grandchildren, there will always be some squabbling and sorting out to do and my grandfather when posed with solving any given dilemma which would inevitably have a "if Mike had done this" or if Kathy had done that" involved, would state matter-of -factly, "If a frog had wings, he wouldn't bump his ass when he hops." So stated, nobody could (or can) argue with this adage and that bit of down home wisdom has followed me throughout my life to the point that I began to draw this frog many years ago in a wide variety of poses and circumstances. I even gave him a name. He is called Ehf, which is short for Ehfahrohgee. This just seemed to be apropo and eventually after writing a poem about this frog, I even named my photography business after him. This notion tickles my mother and when ever people ask me about the name I get to tell them this story and it brings my grandfather right back to life up out of my heart and memory and the man has been gone from this earth since 1968. To say I value this story is an understatement. So, having explained all of that I give you my poetic opus entitled;

* "Frog With Wings"

a poem by boB Meyer

No such things

As frogs with wings

It's something that cannot be

To believe you really saw it

Is just craziness you see

Seeing them a-hoppin'

And crawling through the brush

Is more sensible than thinking

they

fly by you in a rush

Their green skins glisten wetly

And their croaking voices sound

But no frog that ever I saw

Could go gliding 'cross the

ground

If wings they have to fly with

And soar above the trees

Then why is it that I've never seen

Them sailing in the breeze?

If wings it was they grew for

Getting from far to near

Then why is it that I've never

seen

A frog that looks so queer?

Now someday I'll feel funny

If I should accidentally find

A frog that glides just like a bird

Without bumping his behind!

* copyright 1982

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Comment by Robert P. Meyer Jr. on June 12, 2011 at 12:12pm
Ha!  He's quite similiar to one that I have!  Mine hangs in my stairwell and is quite vigilant and handsome!  Thanks for sharing this, Maryanne!
Comment by Maryanne Mesple on June 11, 2011 at 11:57pm

Great story and I love the poem. I had never heard of the saying you G'pa used before reading your blog! I admit it took me a few times reading Ehfahrohgee to "get it!"

I mentioned on your frog picture that I too have a frog with wings but my frog does not have a story like yours ... my winged beauty flew into my life because of my children's love for me and that, for me, gives my winged froggie specialness :-)

So, in the spirit of sharing here is a pic of my frog with wings.

Comment by Toby McConnell on January 26, 2011 at 9:46am

Great bit of fatherly advice, Bob. I like that Southern honesty. Why pretend to have the answers just because you're older? 

Yes, life is grand. 

Comment by Robert P. Meyer Jr. on October 26, 2010 at 10:33pm
Thanks Sheree! I love Jimmy Buffet anyway, but this is the quintessential tune that always touches my heart. I love your uncle's comment. It is a great, big circle is it not?
Comment by Sheree on October 26, 2010 at 9:32pm
Robert, life IS grand!!

My cousin recently told me that, when her grandkids began to come along, her dad told her he was seeing people he thought he'd never see again!! I so love him for that comment.

Life, if allowed to follow the natural order, will ebb and flow and one day we'll all be in the "evening" of our lives and hopefully with few regrets. My parents didn't offer answers, maybe they knew my questions would be so much different from their own that it was useless to try. But they did tell me that, if at the end of my life I look back with disappointment, I have only myself to blame. That's served me quite well.

And all this talk of questions and answers has me thinking about Jimmy Buffett's "He Went To Paris", so I'll end with that:

He went to Paris looking for answers
To questions that bothered him so
He was impressive, young and aggressive
Saving the world on his own.
But the warm Summer breezes
The French wines and cheeses
Put his ambition at bay
And Summers and Winters
Scattered like splinters
And four or five years slipped away.

Then he went to England, played the piano
And married an actress named Kim
They had a fine life, she was a good wife
Bore him a young son named Jim.
And all of the answers and all of the questions
He locked in his attic one day
'Cause he liked the quiet clean country living
And twenty more years slipped away.

Well the war took his baby, the bombs killed his lady
And left him with only on eye
His body was battered, his whole world was shattered
And all he could do was just cry.
While the tears were falling, he was recalling
The answers he never found
So he hopped on a freighter, skidded the ocean
And left England without a sound.

Now he lives in the islands, fishes the pilin's
And drinks his green label each day
He's writing his memoirs and losing his hearing
But he don't care what most people say.
Through eighty-six years of perpetual motion
If he likes you he'll smile then he'll say
Jimmy, some of it's magic, some of it's tragic
But I had a good life all the way.

And he went to Paris looking for answers
To questions that bother him so.
Comment by Robert P. Meyer Jr. on October 26, 2010 at 7:55pm
How's the old song go? "You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometime, you get what you need." Share away! It's how I feel about this world and I'm so blessed that those that I love feel the same way.
I repeat, Life is Grand!
Comment by Maggie Friend on October 26, 2010 at 6:02pm
Robert, this response is beautiful. I hope that you don't mind that I sent the link to my dad. Here's to looking for answers and accepting whatever it is we find (even, and especially, if it is not what we set out looking for).
Comment by Robert P. Meyer Jr. on October 26, 2010 at 2:03pm
Thanks Sheree! My family is far-flung, but we still keep track of one another. I talk to my folks twice a week and my siblings at least once a month. We know what cousins,aunts and uncles are doing what and we all are in touch at least once a year, usually at a reunion. It's a precious state of affairs and I cherish it. My grandparents aren't really gone at all. Their place in the order of things has merely shifted a bit as everyone's will eventually. I have been fortunate in that I have been in an on-going conversation about our mortality with my dad and my son for a very long time now. The natural order of things is the passing of time and of ourselves. We just have to hope that we can contribute to the ease of the passing by being the best that we know how. My dad once said to me that if I was looking for the answers to not expect them from him because he was still looking too. He's 81 yrs.old and he still looks for them every day. He finds many, but as with most answered questions, we're left with more questions than answers. I do know that I'm having a pretty good time looking for my own answers along the way. I just hope to keep looking for a long time to come. Life is grand!
Comment by Sheree on October 26, 2010 at 1:21pm
Bwhahahahaha!!! Love it. I know all families are special in their own way, but there is something about the southern family that just sets us apart. We're quirky and silly and deadly honest, and loyal beyond all notions of wisdom.

What a beautiful memory and truly a "southern" way to honor it!!
Comment by Kimberly on October 22, 2010 at 3:19pm
boB, what a wonderful memory, story, and subsequent poem. You're quite talented! A terrific jewel to cherish.

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