Check out this ribbiting collection!
As a member of a heritage society here in Caledon for 11 years, I was part of a committee that toured many properties in the area, including farms with older structures such as barns, homes and sheds that were declared heritage buildings by the town.
I was always interested in people’s collections that I’d see in these homes. They included teapots, salt and pepper shakers, cream and sugar containers, cookbooks, candle holders and much more, which triggered a thought that I might like to start collecting something myself. I wondered what I could collect that would be unique.
I was married in 1950, and, in those early years, my husband and I travelled to every province in Canada as well as the Northwest Territories, and we visited a few other countries, too. Along with exploring the history of the places we visited, I always liked to visit the gift shops, and it was there that I purchased my first frog.
Perhaps my interest in frogs began back when I was growing up on a farm. Also, after I was married, our property had a small stream that flowed into a pond where frogs came to visit. Plus, I just love their green colour—and the fact that they are not dangerous like rattlesnakes!
So, beginning with my few frogs from my travels, I began to collect in earnest, often with the help of family and friends who would bring a frog as a gift when they came to visit.
My frogs are made from a variety of materials, including wood, iron, ceramic, plastic, cloth and ivory. The frogs are from several different countries, including one from South Korea, which my granddaughter gave me upon her return from teaching there for a year. One of my nieces has also given me many frogs.
My favourite in the collection (pictured below) is two frogs sitting on top of a stone structure, smiling into each other’s eyes. To make it more interesting, I sat it on a shelf along with a pair of frog musicians on either side—one playing the guitar and the other a violin. What a romantic pair!
I now have 133 frogs in my collection that are displayed both inside and outside my home. These include a mug, a waste basket, a night light, teapots, bath towels and a soap dish, not to mention a candle holder, a letter opener, a magnifying glass, a stapler, a sundial and, last but not least, a rain gauge!
There is also a frog outside the door that is used as a boot scraper, another that croaks when you walk by and a third just inside the door that invites guests to “Hop on in!” They all continue to act as conversation pieces for my visitors, new and old alike! ■