Monday, November 7, 2011

Beans, Frogs, and Petunia Pig

Since the beginning I have determined to maintain an honest blog. I have tried not to embellish my stories anymore than necessary to provide an interesting narrative. But as I waited quite late to start collecting my thoughts, some memories have become fuzzy. Or maybe I am just not remembering my memories accurately.

A case in point is the statement I made earlier about our babysitter who wore her hair in braids across the top of her head in a fashion like Petunia Pig.  I cooked a pot of pinto beans yesterday and thought it a good time to tell the tale of the pinto beans and the frog, which includes mention of said babysitter. Yet when I looked for an image of Petunia Pig, I find she did not have braids across the top of her head in any fashion nor did she even have pigtails. In every image I find, she merely has dog-ears, which do not involve plaited hair at all. It is probably just as well since every image I found is copyrighted and Lord knows I do not want to make trouble with Warner Brothers.

Nevertheless, we did have a babysitter who wore her hair in braids across the top of her head in a fashion all of her own. She stayed with us during that summer I broke my leg, cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, and breaking up fights between me and my younger brother. Although she did not live in, she was a nanny before they were fashionable.

We lived in a house adjacent to a small field inhabited by all manner of varmints. It was not  unusual to see tarantulas, terrapins, snakes, spiders, and an occasional skunk or opossum. We even had a little green tree frog that adopted us, ribbiting away day and night on our kitchen window sill. (Now don't get ahead of me.)
Click here to listen to a tree frog trill

Our babysitter would slowly cook pinto beans all day long in order to have supper ready when Mama got home. Since she and my Grandma both believed that beans taste better if you keep them simmering all day, they kept a teakettle of boiling water ready to refill the bean pot as it boiled dry. It was late afternoon when Mama arrived home, drove the sitter back to her home, and got supper on the table. As she ladled up the thick and soupy pinto beans, she noticed something plopped into the serving dish. Thinking it a piece of bacon or maybe pork fat for seasoning, she began to dish the beans onto our plates. I cannot remember who noticed the pork looked suspiciously like a small boiled frog but I am sure glad it was before anyone took a bite. R.I.P. little green tree frog.
This must have been how he looked as he was sliding
off into the bean pot
I better tell you this before I forget. My grandson Blake was about six when one of their pets died and was buried in the back yard. He was quite upset and had been crying for a while when he finally asked his mom if they could make a rip sign. A rip sign? After being asked a few times what a rip sign was, he finally said, "You know!! R.I.P - a rip sign!"


  1. Oh what a waste of a good pot of beans! Your "nanny" had her work cut out for her didn't she?

  2. What a cute (sad?) story!!! We had an older lady neighbor when I was little that had long, long braids that she wore across the top of her head! Haven't thought of that in years!

    Love the RIP comment from your grandson!

    Have a good Monday!

  3. My goodness... I've heard of throwing a ham hock in with the beans, but a frog ?! Too funny. I'd venture a guess that from that day on, everyone scanned the beans pretty close before they ate them :)

    Cute story about your grandson. Kids say the funniest things.

  4. What a great story. I may never look at pinto beans the same again! One night when I was a child, I turned down my bed to find a little green frog! Yes, I screamed like a little girl!! I wonder if my sister planted the frog there.

  5. I had a school friend in 1st and 2nd grade who wore her hair in braids across her head. Her family had moved to our town from Poland.
    That poor little froggie. Did the beans taste like chicken? (Isn't that what they always say about "unusual" meat in order to get you to taste it?)

  6. Great recollection..poor froggy:(
    Thanks for the comments on my blog..I finally made it over here to visit you! Welcome to the world of blogging! I see one of my favorite friends Maple Lane has been here..she is a doll! I have "known" her through blogging for a long time. Have fun! I will be back to read more of your stories:)

  7. Hello! I am so happy that you came by my blog and have commented on the last two posts. Just visiting your blog today, I am delighted with this story! Poor little frog! Too bad Petunia pig doesn't wear the braids as you remember...I can remember wearing my hair that way when I was very small. There was a young actress who cried at the drop of a hat who also wore such braids back in the fifties. I don't remember her name, though. Great story! Come by and visit me anytime!