“So, now we have sorted out precisely why sunflowers have their name maybe we could solve the mysterious case of the frog in the toilet cistern?” asked Clarence tentatively, the next day, waving the uncompleted list of mysteries around.


“Sure” replied Frankie. “Let’s go!”






“Hi.” said Frankie politely as a small green face with detached eyebrows poked its head out of the toilet cistern. “I was just wondering whether you actually need to be in here because every time someone flushes the toilet, it makes a rather strange gloopy sort of sound.” And then, realising she had forgotten her manners continued. “I’m sorry. I’m Frankie the flamingo and somewhere nearby is Clarence the crab, and we are trying to solve the mysterious case of the frog in the toilet cistern, which is, basically, who are you and why are you in here?”


“Sure, let me explain. I am Eric the frog and …” “What???????” spluttered Frankie? “Eric??????? The Frog????????” “Um, yes, that’s right…” replied Eric. “But that makes noooooooooooooo sense at all!” exclaimed Frankie. “If you are a frog then your name should be Frankie or Farah or Freddie or, or, or even I don’t know, Filbert or Flappy. But not Eric!”


“Well Frankie,” replied Eric in his best explaining voice. “The flamingoes have taken up all the names beginning with F and I rather like the name Eric. It kind of matches my croaky voice. Eric, Eric” he added by way of explanation. Frankie still wasn’t convinced. It went against everything she had ever learnt about names, and despite the fact she had to admit it was quite cool when Eric went “Eric, Eric” she could see it causing a lot of confusion in the future if everyone just took whatever name they wanted! However, there was a mystery to solve so she’d better crack on.


“Um, ok… Eric” said Frankie in what she hoped was a convincing manner, “Clarence and I were just wondering whether you had to be in this toilet cistern.” “So was I”, replied Eric. “I am just scoping it out really. We need a place to live as our pond is now mostly mud and that doesn’t really work for frogs. And even less for tadpoles. When I was a tadpole, there were so many ponds. But now there are less and less.” “Oh!” interrupted Frankie. “Where have they gone? Have they just moved?” “Well Frankie” replied Eric in his best explaining voice. “Ponds don’t move but they dry up if there isn’t enough rain, or if it’s really hot and sunny. So I came out to search for an alternative. This toilet cistern is nice and wet and although it empties sometimes it fills up quickly again. Mind you it is a bit small for my family and I can imagine some of the kids getting flushed down into the toilet and from there into the drain which would be a bit of a pain. Getting them back out again if you see what I mean.”


“Do all your family have names that begin with E?” asked Frankie hoping for some sort of order even if it wasn’t quite the one she was used to. “Oh no! Not at all!” exclaimed Eric. “My wife is called Mu and we have four kids and their names don’t begin with E. Or F (for frog) or T (for tadpole) either” he added. “We’re a kind of an anomaly.” “An omaly?” gasped Frankie. “Is that made from eggs?” “No, no Frankie”, replied Eric in his best explaining voice. “I think you are thinking of an omelette.”


To be continued…

The mysterious case of the frog in the toilet cistern – Part 3