Toad­ally Awe­some

Check out this rib­bit­ing col­lec­tion!

More of Our Canada - - Collectors - By Jean Proc­tor, Cale­don, Ont.

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! ■

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