The Fabulous Flying Frog Birdhouse

December 30, 2007

There it was, Christmas morning, and I had 100 miles to drive to work and an interview for the story I would be writing for the next day’s paper.

At the newspaper where I work, everybody has to work one of the holidays, and Christmas is mine.

It’s a short shift, so it’s not as bad as it might be.

I was running late, but the patriarch of the house, Sue’s son, insisted that I should open my gifts before I darted out the door for the drive from Baltimore to Harrisburg.

I’m glad I did. If I’d left, I’d have gone through the whole day without knowing about the frog.

That morning, the usual suspects poised around the tree with age-appropriate decorum, from the mellow familial glow of the adults and older children, to 12-year-old Tristan’s barely-bridled anticipation, which I can only liken to that of a young piranha downstream from a wounded deer.

Like most guys, I prefer toys to things like clothing. As one gets older, as I have done, one’s range of toys expands and matures, so that I can receive, as I did this year, a rechargeable power screwdriver and take great delight in it.

There were some other gifts, equally as sensible. And then Sue handed me a box large enough to hold, say, an inflated football.

“This one’s from Wendy,” she said, perhaps by way of warning.

Wendy is one of her two sisters. They live in California.

She’s good people. But California is, well, California. Even those of us who grew up in the Deep South, where just plain loony people and actions are thought of as part of the local charm, wonder about those folks out there in California. In my several visits to the place, I confess, I was always on the lookout for somebody to do some damnfool crazy thing. Like anybody else, I watch TV, so I know about these things. Nobody ever did. I figure my timing was just off.

Anyway, so there was the package, in light blue holiday paper, a lacy white ribbon enwrapping the whole. I slipped the ribbon off, peeled away the paper, and sliced the clear shipping tape from the box lid, and carefully lifted it.

flyingfrog2-1.jpgflyingfrog.jpg

Two eyes bugged out at me from a chartreuse background. A very wide chartreuse background, a kiwi cloud.

I squinted in the dimness. It was….

….a frog. Wendy had sent me a very tubby, very green frog. But what’s this at its nether end, protruding from its little froggy butt?

A feathered tail. I looked north. The froggy’s front feet were feathered, too, and spread- er, -eagled, as though in flight.

A flying frog?

And then, on the side, I saw a round hole, about an inch-and-a-half across, with a little peg sticking out below it.

A flying frog birdhouse.

I can’t wait ‘til spring so I can hang it. And sorry, I can’t tell you where to get one for yourself. The frog itself was made in China, possibly from lead (just kidding.) I looked up the company name online, “Pacific Rim…The Company for All Seasons.”

Unfortunately, Pacific Rim has run out of seasons, and gone into receivership. So, there may be a whole warehouse full of flying frog birdhouses somewhere in Seattle. But I don’t know where.

You will just have to live with your envy.

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One Response to “The Fabulous Flying Frog Birdhouse”

  1. Lonnie said

    I loved your Christmas story of receiving The Flying Frog birdhouse as a gift. Problem is…. I LOVE the birdhouse and as you stated Pacific Rim is out of business. Any chance that you received info on where to purchase the birdhouse? I appreciate your time.
    Lonnie

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