Frogs are not meant to be put in your mouth, swallowed, or chewed up and eaten. Well not live ones anyway.

Valeria By Valeria, 4th Dec 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Humour>Funny Stories

The French are known for eating frogs, but would a farmer in Tanganyika kidnap and eat his children's pet frog? Read this story and find out.

There's a letter for you.

Our farm in Gode Gode in Central Tanzania was miles from anywhere. There was Gode Gode station about two miles away but as no one lived in Gode Gode, besides us and a few tribal people, no passengers ever got off there. The train would only usually bring our mail and drop off or pick up hessian sacks of beans, rice, potatoes or maize flour. It was handy for my father to have a railway station so near to our farm so that he was able to easily ship all our produce to wherever it had to go. The farm stood alone hundreds of miles away in the bush.

The railway line passed directly behind our house and so we children often heard the train coming and ran to wave to the driver; he usually blew the whistle for us. At that time we children had never ridden on a train and we often wondered what it would be like, or dreamed that one day the driver might stop the train and give us a ride. It was quite pleasant too to hear the train passing by our house in the stillness of the night.

Dad would drive down to the station every now and then in our ex-American army Land Rover to see if we had any mail. Nanna was living with us in Gode Gode and when she knew Dad was going to the station she would always say, “See if there’s any mail.” As if it was necessary to say so.

One day Dad decided to play a trick on her. He got an envelope and addressed it to her, then he put inside it this contraption he made with a piece of wire and a rubber band that when touched started to flutter around in the envelope with a loud fluttering noise. In Africa you found insects, spiders, scorpions and snakes etc everywhere. For instance, you would never put your shoes on without first turning each shoe upside down and banging it on the ground to see if anything came out of it.

So Dad went off to the station and when he came back Nanna was making beds. He went to her with the envelope held carefully in his hand, so as not to set the ‘contraption’ off fluttering before she could open the envelope, and said to her, “There’s a letter for you Mum.” We were all in the know and so we stood there watching and Dad gave us a conspiratorial glance.

Nanna loved getting mail, she said, “I wonder who it’s from?” The writing didn’t look like that of any of her family in England. She never thought the handwriting could be Dad’s, why would he write a letter to her? So it never crossed her mind. She opened the envelope as we watched with bated breath, then all of a sudden the ‘contraption’ started to flutter around in the envelope with a very satisfying, to us and Dad, loud fluttering noise. She got such a fright she dropped the envelope on the floor and her face went as white as the sheets on the bed she was making.

Dad and we kids all burst out laughing, although Dad did go over to her when he saw how white her face had become to make sure she was alright. Nanna recovered very quickly and then she said to Dad what she usually said to him when he played tricks on her (which he liked doing often), “You daft thing!” She was his mother-in-law but they had a very good and loving relationship.

Frog For Dinner?

One day my sister Angela and I caught a nice big frog. We had an old wind-up gramophone which was broken and so we took the lid off its box and, turning it upside down, made a home in there for the frog. We put dirt and stones in, made a little pool for the frog, and put in some greenery too. We covered the whole thing with mosquito netting so the frog couldn’t get out.

The problem with it all was that Dad said that he liked to eat frogs and that he wanted to eat ours. We believed him and so we didn’t trust him and we felt that we needed to watch the frog twenty four hours a day in case he got eaten. So we felt a sense of relief when the frog finally escaped on about the second or third day. At last we could relax and stop worrying about the frog being kidnapped and eaten. I think Nanna was happy that the frog was gone. She hated all the creepy-crawlies, frogs, toads, scorpions, big spiders, snakes, and some disgusting looking armoured crickets etc.

The frog swallowers.

When we were living on Kiboriani Mountain we used to love playing beside the many ponds up there which were full of frogs and tadpoles. The clay round the ponds was lovely too and we enjoyed making things with it. We liked also to catch tadpoles and keep them in a glass jar to watch them turn into frogs. One day when we were playing beside the pond my brother Vivian started to laugh loudly at something, his mouth wide open. Suddenly a little frog jumped into his mouth, he got such a surprise he swallowed it.

When we went to live in Dar es Salaam after Gode Gode farm went broke, I made friends with a girl who had a little sister who liked putting things in her mouth. One day when I was with this girl and her sister, we noticed that the little sister had something in her mouth, you could tell even though she was keeping her mouth tightly shut. My friend asked her, “What have you got in your mouth?” The little girl just shook her head, she couldn’t speak because her mouth was full, and she kept it tight shut. My friend and I both started saying, “What have you got in your mouth?” and we were trying to get her to open up and let us look or spit it out. But she just kept shaking her head. This child had a habit of putting things in her mouth that oughtn’t to go in there, her family worried that she might poison herself one of these days. Finally, after a lot of persuading and threatening the little girl opened her mouth and – OUT JUMPED A FROG!


Farm, Frog, Poison, Train

Meet the author

author avatar Valeria
I was born in East Africa, of Italian roots and raised my children in the north of Italy. I now live in Australia. My writing may focus on family and religion. And other categories. Love writing.

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
4th Dec 2015 (#)

It must have been amazing growing up there, so many fascinating stories. I had to laugh.

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author avatar Valeria
5th Dec 2015 (#)

Thanks Mark. Yes it was amazing, wouldn't have missed it for the world. How blessed I was that my Dad decided to go to Africa after the war. Sometimes those stories look quite ordinary to me, it is getting feedback from people like you that makes me realize that perhaps it wasn't so ordinary after all.

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