Monday, May 16, 2005

Tybee the Frog

Slightly after spring had finally sprung, I visited a local $$$$$, independently run garden shop in search of vast quantities of pre-emergent weed killer. This place is just a couple of miles up the street and always a fun place for an afternoon field trip. When the weather gets warm, they bring out their new crop of lawn ornaments and pots and urns, and they restart the fish pond fountain that's been under snow all winter, and the fish are flippin' happy again.

I perused the copious, crowded shelves on the veranda, curious to see what new pricey merchandise they'd introduced (just so I could pretend I could have something). They had loads of new cast-iron urns, but they were all much to large to match the teeny one I got two years ago. Oh, well. Then after further uninspiring searches, my eye caught a cement lawn ornament on a baker's rack outside a shop window.

What I noticed first was that the figurine was lying on its side, propped up on an elbow, and smiling. Wearing large, round sunglasses. On the face of . . . a frog. Well, that amused me, but it was what I noticed next that took the cake. The frog was sunbathing in a bikini! And it had big boobs lolling around in the bikini top. And a big frog belly.

Well I cracked up then and there; I knew my mother was winking at me from the Great Beyond. If she had still been alive I would have bought the frog for her at first sight. She just would have howled at how great it was. But instead, I bought my weed preventer and left.

A week or so went by, and my in-laws came to visit from New York state. We were looking at my houseplants and agreed that some of them needed dividing and transplanting. That led to the thought of searching for appropriately sized pots. We headed to the garden center again; I had already tried to explain to my mother-in-law what this figurine looked like, and that I would show it to her when we were there.

So we made a beeline for the baker's rack, and there the frog still was in flabby glory. I picked her up, curious about how $$$$$ this little hunk of cement would be at this way overpriced shop. $21!! I gasped--I hadn't seen anything yet less than $42 on the veranda. I put her back and started heading for the fishpond. Behind me, my wonderful mother-in-law surreptitiously picked the frog up and cradled it under her arm.

This time, we did indeed leave with the frog. But not with any new, appropriately sized pots.

We took the frog home and put her out on a large stone bench on my slate patio. Bingo! She looked quite happy there, and I could see her out the kitchen window, sunning. My younger son has taken to squirting her with his giant super-soaker whenever he walks by, just to make sure she doesn't get cooked in the UV.

Ms. Tybee Frog enjoys a partly shady spot


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