The joy of frogs

Abigail Toland ponders ponds

Goldfish are wasted in a garden pond. All they can do is swim, open their mouths and look pretty. Glamour should stay where it belongs: in the front room, in a glass bowl. Anyway, why do we waste valuable freshwater space on a creature that contributes nothing to the humble horticultural ecosystem into which it has been introduced? Abandon your fish; this is the age of the frog.

For years the frog has received a bad press. Remember how the handsome prince was imprisoned in the frog's hideous form by an evil witch, and how his only possible escape was if a beautiful princess summoned up the courage to kiss his algae-green mouth? The frog has also unjustly suffered because of a resemblance to his cousin the toad, so often a vital ingredient of vile spells. This century he has done a little better, with his starring role alongside Sir Isaac Newton in The Tale of Jeremy Fisher, and an alluringly buxom girlfriend in Miss Piggy, who longs to be caught in Kermit's webbed amplexus. (What animal other than a frog, incidentally, has a specific word for its mating hug?)

The frog is the aquatic accessory for the 21st century. Lithe in the water, he swims his own version of breaststroke, using only his strong and rubberily athletic legs, also used to devastating effect on land. And he's brighter than the average goldfish: faced with feline attack, the frog does not swim blindly towards the clawed paw but leaps swiftly to safety. When you've spent your childhood as a jelly bubble and adolescence as a frail tadpole, you know better than to end it all as cat food.

The frog's main role, in these ecologically aware times, is to act as an amphibious pesticide, hoovering up any slugs in his path and lapping greenfly from the air with his ludicrously long tongue. He also serves as an accurate pollution detector, rapidly abandoning any unhealthily clogged waters. Preserve the frog; do not fear him; he is here to help.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Personal Injury Fee Earners

    £15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This specialist personal injury...

    Recruitment Genius: New Business Sales Executive / Business Development

    £20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Join a fast growing, UK based I...

    Recruitment Genius: Tennant Liaison Officer

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An experienced TLO is required to manage, deli...

    Guru Careers: Tax Manager / Accountant

    £35 - £50k DOE: Guru Careers: A Tax Manager / Accountant (ACA / CA / CTA) is n...

    Day In a Page

    Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

    US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

    Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
    VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

    'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

    VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
    Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

    Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
    The male menopause and intimations of mortality

    Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

    So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
    Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

    'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

    Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
    Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

    Bettany Hughes interview

    The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
    Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

    Art of the state

    Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
    Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

    Vegetarian food gets a makeover

    Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
    The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

    The haunting of Shirley Jackson

    Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
    Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

    Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

    These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
    Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

    Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

    A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
    Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

    Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

    Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
    HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

    The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

    Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
    Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

    'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

    Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
    Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

    The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

    Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen