Carol brought out a box of pictures and treasures when we were there for Thanksgiving and I grabbed some things so I could scan them. One piece was a short story my mother wrote about Carol and a bean bag frog. It’s so adorable, I had to share it.
These bean bag frogs were a favorite of Mom’s and apparently, Carol’,s too. Mom made them as gifts for several years. Each of us kids had one at one time or other. Such a simple pattern, so easy to make and they were a lot of fun. I’d forgotten about them until I read this.
Carol and Her Froggie
A Short Story by Margie Greenwood
James Arthur’s sister, Carol, is two years older than he and she lived in the room across the hall with her big sister, Diane.
Now Carol is an especially beautiful young lady, with very curly brown hair, a ribbon bow mouth and snapping green eyes. She also has a dimple in the very middle of her chin. Sometimes Carol has a small case of the sulks and then her dimple grows very big as her eyebrows and mouth try to meet at her nose. Usually, however, she is smiling, laughing, and dancing.
One day a friend of Mommy’s brought her a funny green bean bag frog like the ones Mommy used to play with when she was a little girl. Mommy sat the frog on a lamp in the living room. When Carol came home from school that day, she knew something was different. She looked around the living room and there sat the friendliest frog you ever did see.
“Oh, Mommy. Can I play with it?” she pleaded.
Mommy said Carol had to keep the frog very clean since it was a special frog.
Carol tenderly lifted the frog from its perch and cradled it in her arms.
“You’re really beautiful, little frog,” she crooned. Carefully she carried the frog up to her bedroom and climbed up on her bed where she laid the frog on its back on her pillow. Then she got off her bed to look for a little piece of material to keep the new frog warm!
She searched through the toy chest, but couldn’t find anything suitable.
“Oh yes!” she said aloud. “I’ll use a wash cloth,” and she ran back downstairs to find the softest wash cloth she could find. When she returned, she looked at her pillow, but it was empty.
“I’m sure I put the frog on my pillow,” she said as she looked on the little bookcase beside her bed and on the floor. She even got down on her knees and looked under the bed. But she couldn’t find the frog.
Perplexed, she climbed on her bed again and slipped her bare feet under the covers for they were just a little chilly.
“Ohh! What’s that?” she shouted and flung back the blankets.
There was the bean bag frog lying on its stomach staring at her with its funny wiggly eyes.
“What in the world are you doing under there froggie?” she asked and started to pick up the frog.
“I was cold!” a strange, croaky voice replied.
“What?” said Carol, her hand hanging in mid-air. “I thought I heard a voice. Daddy, are you there? Are you playing a trick on me?”
Carol’s daddy thought he was quite a ventriloquist and often pretended he was speaking for one of their toys. Of course, Carol, Diane and James Arthur knew it was Daddy talking, but they didn’t want to make him feel bad, so they pretended their toys could talk.
Carol jumped off her bed and looked out the bedroom door. She peered under the twin beds. She even looked in the closet, but Daddy was not there.
“Maybe I just THOUGHT I heard a voice,” she said to herself and slowly walked back to her bed. The frog had disappeared again! This time Carol threw the covers back completely, and there was the bean bag frog down at the very bottom of her bed.
“Poor froggie, are you afraid of your new home?” and again, she reached out to pick it up.
“Certainly not!” The same deep gravelly voice replied. “It’s just that I’m still quite new, and I’m dreadfully cold.”
Carol stared in shock at the bean bag frog. It had to be the frog talking. No one else was around. James Arthur was outside, Diane was reading downstairs and Mommy was working in the kitchen.
She lay down on the bed with her head close to the frog.
“I’ve got a nice blanket here for you. See if this doesn’t help,” and she laid the soft wash cloth on the frog’s green back.
“Oh, that’s lovely. Thank you so much little girl. I say. What’s your name, if it isn’t too presumptuous to ask?”
“I’m Carol Greenwood. Why do you talk so funny? You don’t sound like my family?”
“Of course, of course, dear child. I’m made from imported English cloth. Hoist the mainsails! Watch the halyards there, boys. Lower the anchor, swabbie. Oh I do beg your pardon. I’ve got to watch my tongue. You see, my imported English cloth is stuffed with navy beans. I guess I’m just a very nautical English frog, aha, aha, aha!
Carol was extremely interested in the conversation and thought this was surely the most amazing thing that had ever happened to her.
“Would you be so kind as to sit me up, please?” the frog requested politely.
Carol sat the frog upright and then asked, “What is your name?”
The frog lowered its funny eyes and Carol was sure a little pink blush stole over its green plaid cheeks. The frog lifted one arm and beckoned Carol a little closer until the frog’s head was right next to Carol’s left ear.
“Ellie Mae,” it whispered and fell over sideways.
“What a beautiful name,” Carol exclaimed. “It just fits you.”
Ellie Mae peered up at Carol.
“Oh, do you really think so. It sounded so … so … so common. I thought Guinivere or Lady Sarah Heddington Thornton or even Victoria would have been (she pronounced this like a green bean) much more appropriate.”
Carol clapped her hands in delight. What a funny frog!
“Let’s keep this a secret, Ellie Mae. I don’t think anyone would really believe you talk anyway, so let’s not tell anyone quite yet.” Carol said.
“Certainly, my dear. It will be a jolly good show. Hip, hip, hoorah. Slip the oars, mates and hoist the anchor!” Ellie Mae cried.
Carol didn’t think Ellie Mae really knew what she was talking about, but it did sound cute. She picked Ellie Mae up and put her on her shoulder.
“It’s time for supper, Ellie Mae. Let’s go eat.” Carol ran lightly down the stairs and Ellie Mae clung tightly to her neck.
“Put the frog down, Carol,” Mother said, “and go wash your hands for supper.” Carol sighed and put Ellie Mae on the brown chair near the kitchen table.
“Be real quiet,” she warned. Ellie Mae gave her a big wink.