Vol.XII No.V Pg.8
July 1975

Stuff About Things

Robert F. Turner

Herman the frog once lived in an ordinary pond with many of his ordinary relatives. He croaked a very nice croak, about ordinary for his size and age, and it blended with the great serenade of frog voices that nightly filled the air. The sound was a peaceful one, quite appropriate to the surroundings, and indicative that all was well in the frog world.

But Herman was not happy in the old home pond. There were too many frog voices just like his. He longed for the attention given a few patriarchs of the pond whose deep rich voices led community sings. He tried to imitate the patriarchs, but when they were on low do he did well to hit a fa below middle do. He tried a psychedelic tenor — anything to be different — but even this was drowned in the mighty frog chorus.

Grandfather frog noticed red-faced Herman, puffing and blowing in his efforts, and counseled wisely. Sing with the rest of us, Herman. Together we make a fine blending of voices. In time your voice will mature, and practice will give strength, so that you can croak like a patriarch. Herman muttered, Mind your own business, and kicked algae in the old mans eye.

Over the hill was a small new puddle, formed by recent showers. Only a few young frogs lived there, and Herman decided to join them. In a small pond surely he could be a patriarch. But Herman found that although he received more attention there, he still had a fa croak. When he used his psychedelic tenor there were not enough smooth voices to drown him out, and he ruined the whole chorus. His cronies began to mock, and to shun him.

There are many ways to end this. Herman could learn much by youthful experience and humbly take his place in the youth section. Then, in due time, someone would notice the mellow smoothness of his voice and suggest, Herman, try a mi. It would be easy! So, he would try a re. Got it!! And then, half-fearful, Herman would roll out a deep rich low do, and everyone would rejoice with the new patriarch.

Or, he could fret and fume, and die young in a dried up puddle.

Or, Herman could learn to imitate a patriarch — slip into a patriarchs seat one night — and get sacked by a Louisiana Cajun looking for supper.. (It aint all pie, this being a great big fat patriarch of a frog.)