Frog Catching
By Patrick Ching
Written in 1990

Honu Image


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Frog catching was my favorite pastime when I was a boy.  The challenge of the stalk, the trill of the chase, and if I was successful, the reward of bringing home a giant, floppy, dripping wet, slimy, bullfrog.
       While anybody can catch frogs with a fishing pole or a spear –a true river rat could be judge on his ability to capture a frog bare handed.  I would never eat the frogs.  I would just rub their legs, let ‘em do somersaults off the bridge and sometimes keep them as pets. Occasionally I’d play with them in the bathtub and they’d jump out and get lost in the house.
Before I go any further, let me point out to you that these were frogs that I was catching, not toads.  (Everybody knows that toads are bumpy, brown poisonous while bullfrogs are smooth, green and beautiful.)
       When I was young I always had friends to go frog catching with.  As I got older I had a harder time convincing my friends it was fun.  As soon as my nephew, Sean boy, was big enough to hold a net I began teaching him the art of frog catching.  He got pretty good at it too.
       The frog in this picture is Manfer “D” Frog.  Sean and I caught him many times up in Moanaloa Valley, but we also would let him go so we could catch him again.
       Today with all the pollution and deceases like leptospirosis in the water, parents don’t encourage their kids to play in the streams.  In recent years frog catching has taken a back seat to computer and video games.

Since the time of this photo Sean boy hasn’t caught another frog…but he’s really good at Nintendo.