Ferdie’s back. That would be my lampshade frog friend that I christened Ferdinand. Except that now he’s a picture window frog. Brought his meal plan to my kitchen window where the light above my spice rack shines through that window and calls like a siren’s song to all the bugs of the night to come forward and get chomped-on by a wide mouth frog with lightning speed lunges.
I expect Ferdie will become a regular around the cabin, and I won’t over expose him to the media. He’s got a hungry mouth to feed and, besides, he can’t sign autographs. And yet I do sense Ferdie might be a little narcissistic, and can’t hide his attraction for attention. And is careful to put his best face forward.
Unless, like God with Moses, Ferdinand occasionally presents his “back parts” for review.
I am glad, however, Ferdie showed up tonight for this last installment of brief fame. It’s a chance to give a wider audience to a comment on my previous froggie post. One which proves to me that Maxwell Perkins the great editor of Ernest Hemingway and James Thurber and F. Scott Fitzgerald and others got it right when he said, “Everybody needs an editor.”
In the body of the piece that drew the comment, I wrote that I believed the frog to be a male and would name him Ferdinand. I grinned like a donkey chewing saw briars when poet and bibliophile Martin Lanaux wrote back in the comments section: “The bug, who I have named Jonah, was coughed up by Ferdinand and flew forth to preach a prayer of thanksgiving to his bug brethren.”
How could I miss such a great comparison? Scriptural no less! In the Bible story Jonah gets swallowed by a whale because he doesn’t want to go and preach in Nineveh, but changes his mind and gets regurgitated onto the beach. Clearly, the frog and the bug that got a second chance are ready-made for a colorful comparison to the tale from the Old Testament Book of Jonah.
I immediately upon reading Martin’s clever line, called and thanked him. Beautiful, bright-minded, and clever. As the Australian poet Les Murray wrote of the act of revision, “…for the adjustments after, for aligning facets in a verb before the trance leaves you.”
Martin’s been a first-round reader for all the books I’ve written, and this is the reason why I need his eyes on my manuscripts.
With gratitude, my friend, for holding the trance for me…