Tuesday Poem – The Frog by Hilaire Belloc


The frogs have been singing in in the rushes by my local lake but no matter how hard I look I have never seen one. Apparently they are quite small. Their voices aren’t. They sing with gay abandon. And here you are probably thinking, ah yes I know the one riddet riddet, but no, not these ones. These are Kiwi frogs…Brrruurrp Brurrrrp they shout Brrrurrrp Brrrurrrp ! Some say this is a sign of rain.

Be kind and tender to the Frog,
And do not call him names,
As ‘Slimy skin,’ or ‘Polly-wog,’
Or likewise ‘Ugly James,’
Or ‘Gap-a-grin,’ or ‘Toad-gone-wrong,’
Or ‘Bill Bandy-knees’:
The Frog is justly sensitive
To epithets like these
No animal will more repay
A treatment kind and fair;
At least
so lonely people say
Who keep a frog (and, by the way,
They are extremely rare).

where the frogs hide

where the frogs hide



The Frog is from Hilaire Belloc’s book ‘The Bad Child’s Book of Beasts’.

Hilaire Belloc was known as a writer, orator, poet, sailor, satirist, man of letters, soldier and political activist. To read more about his interesting life go here.The illustrator of this and other books by Hilaire was Lord Ian Basil Gawaine Temple Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood or BTB (4 November 1870 – 3 July 1917), also known as Lord Basil Temple Blackwood,  a British lawyer, civil servant and book illustrator. He died in action in World War 1. Read more here.

And do not call him names illustrated by BTB

And do not call him names, illustrated by BTB





This week’s editor of The Tuesday Poem Hub is Harvey Molloy with an unusual poem by Ruth Corkill called You are nocturnal but I am an insomniac. Pop over to the Hub and have a read and while you’re there check out the variety of Tuesday Poets in the sidebar. You will find much to please you.

NB Due to a temporary glitch the widget for the current Tuesday poets is missing but will be replaced soon. Meanwhile there are lots of other interesting poets and sites which remain in the sidebar. 🙂

NB The good news is that the Tuesday Poets have reappeared.

4 thoughts on “Tuesday Poem – The Frog by Hilaire Belloc

    • Hello Nithish. What I think the poet is saying is that there is NO animal like a frog who if kept as a pet will repay the person who looks after him/her more than the frog. He is not talking about one particular animal. But he is also making a bit of a joke here as not many people keep frogs as pets, though I guess if you had a nice lilypond in your garden and you made sure the frog/s were safe and the pond was ok for frogs that would be like keeping it as a pet…

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