Easter frogs

I know that Easter itself was last week and that it’s not actually Easter at the moment  but I feel the need to reminisce about a previous time I remember Easter being this hot and sunny.

Easter can fall on any one of 35 different dates according to western tradition but generally, early April is about the average. The latest possible Easter date seems to be disputed but it would fall towards the end of April for sure.

I’m fairly certain that there have been other pleasant Easters (usually those which fall after the first week of April) but the one where we took the children to Germany, in 1979 was memorable.

My first wife Sue, had a German penfriend, Mecky, who lived in Burgsteinfurt near Munster and we arranged to visit them that Easter. Ben was 3.5 years old and Emma just 18 months. Our visit to Munster Zoo therefore, on a glorious Easter Sunday (or Monday – I can’t remember which) was a real family day out. Ben had been ill and pretty much stuck by us all day and we had to keep pointing things out to keep him interested. Our “Oh look Ben, a squashed frog!” and “Oh dear, another squashed frog ..” will stay with me until my dying day. As we walked around the zoo there certainly seemed to have been some kind of frog flattening event prior to our arrival.

The park ponds at first seemed pretty lifeless until we heard Ben point and shout “Mummy, look … a not-squashed frog“. Sure enough – a real-life frog jumped out of our way and (probably) into the path of oncoming traffic.

Ben’s amusing phrase ‘not-squashed frog’ has stuck with me all this time and I was reminded of it yesterday as Sharon and I sat by our own pond (in the gratefully received sunshine) watching the two goldfish slowly disturb the torpid frogs from the bottom of the water. One frog seemed a little different from the rest. It was a very dark pinky-red colour, so it stood out from the others and made it easier for us to notice. It took a while to realise that it was even more different than we’d thought.

It only had three legs.

It seems I am to be plagued by Easter frog deformity of one type or another for eternity. Note also that I used to visit my students in France at this time of year when the Comte region restaurants served up fresh versions of their national dish. I dare not be more graphic than that.


One Response to “Easter frogs”

  1. armaitus Says:

    I remember Munster Zoo with fondness. I’ll see if I can scan in the photographs that I have from that visit.

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