A view from under the pew: lurch the frog-herding lizard

By Gary Mitchell

Editor’s note: Amos is a churchmouse, who types by hopping on the computer keyboard, but he can’t operate the capital shift keys, and he shuns punctuation marks – except dashes and hyphens.

although it s getting warmer
boss all this rain in recent
days has me contemplating
the idea of turning my little
matchbox home into a
houseboat-on-a-raft

but more than that it feels
like we ve stepped into a
biblical plague
have you counted all the
frogs who have shown up
on the church house lawn
question mark here boss
their hippity-hop little green
bodies are all over the place

i bet they re the leftover
descendents of that there
egyptian plague that moses
called down on pharaoh – and
those frogs didn t have
anywhere else to go but to
come here to new mexico
says sammy salamander
who was enjoying himself
swimming up and down the
streets of bugtussle

that was over three thousand
years ago says me to Sammy

well maybe it took them a
long time to swim the
atlantic ocean says he

you re crazy says me

you re both crazy says a
long green lizard-looking
stranger who sashayed his
way up to sammy and me
now git on with yourself
you two funny-looking
frogs don t think you ll fool
me by pretending to be logs

whaddya mean by
funny-looking frogs says me
we re not frogs at all
sammy here is a salamander
and i m a mouse – do i look
like an amphibian to you

well come to think of it
says he i ain t seen very
many hairy frogs like thee
maybe you d bring me
some extra money

no i won t bring any extra
money just a lot of pain
and misery says me
say who are you anyway

i m lurch the frog-herding
lizard and i m trying to round
up this herd of frogs afore
the next water blizzard and
drive them to the next
bug-infested pasture land
that s my job says he and
i m the top hand

you can t herd frogs
says me that s like
herding cats why don t
you try a pack of dogs
or at least a bunch of rats

don t like rats nor cats
says he now frogs are
weird they jump this way
and that and when they
jump all at once they re
something to be feared

but why do you have to
herd them anywhere
won t they hop away
on their own

i m helpin the environment
says he by riddin the
territory of these green
ungodly hoppities and
movin them to where
they re needed most
probably somewhere on
the east coast

they may get in the way
but they do us a service
each day these frogs
have value just like dogs
or kangaroos says me

that s so says he you may
be right – maybe they are
more than just a green
blight but i m still gonna
take this herd outta sight

and off he went boss with
a green undulating sea of frogs
hopping eastward into the
morning sun

who knows boss they seem
to be a happy lot always
moving from one place to
another spot – all god s
creatures have a place and
a purpose – even green
hippity-hops

amos