Gilbert the Singing Frog
Gilbert the Frog loved to sing.
And all the other frogs in the pond said, “That’s not a song! That’s not singing! You sound like you got a fly stuck in your throat!”
Gilbert blushed a bit and he tried to stop singing. But he couldn’t help himself. He just loved to sing. He’d sit on any lily-pad he could find, shimmy a bit from side-to-side to get himself ready, then open his mouth and belt it out:
All the other frogs laughed at him, but Gilbert tried not to notice. He looked for quiet places on the pond where he could sing alone, without being made fun of.
One day, Mr. Blaborian, a small, handsome, dapper rabbit, stumbled down to the pond, crestfallen. (And yes, it was that Blaborian, of the famous orchestra. The very one!) Mr. Blaborian blubbered out a few sighs and a few woes is me, and all the frogs gathered around to see what was the matter.
His orchestra, it turned out, was in a terrible state. Mr. Blaborian’s Traveling Orchestra was famous for featuring Ms. Hazel Daisyklee, the world’s smallest and most stunning soprano.
When that badger otter opened her mouth, it was like the light of the sun exploding into sound. Grown bears broke down in tears and then wiped their paws across their face, pretending they “just had something in the eye.”
But how would the orchestra continue to stun the world without a bassoon? What was an orchestra without a bassoon?! “Not an orchestra at all, that’s what it is!” said Mr. Blaborian, taking a load off by the pond (after taking out his handkerchief and wiping off the grass, of course.)
That’s when he heard it. He lifted his head and looked left, looked right. “Wha-wha-what is that? Who is that?”
The frogs, sitting on their lily-pads, tried to mind their own business, looking at each other and then back at Mr. Blaborian.
“I said,” said Blaborian, “Who is that?”
“Oh, that horrid noise?” one of them said, sighing and clearly embarrassed for them and their kind. “That’s Gilbert. We do apolog…”
“Gilbert?” said Mr. Blaborian, his voice dream-like, swaying in the wind, his eyes somewhere in the heavens. “Take me to this…Gilbert.”
The frogs looks at each other and shrugged, hopping off their lily-pads to lead the rabbit to Gilbert, assuming he would tell the frog to knock it off and that decent people were trying to enjoy the day.
When Mr. Blaborian came around the corner of the bank, he saw Gilbert sitting happily on a lilly-paid, singing with abandon.
“Bravo! Bravo!” yelled Mr. Blaborian.
Gilbert nearly fell off the lilly-paid. It looked for a moment that Mr. Blaborian would cry. Instead he began jumping and shouting, “Eureka! Eureka!”
“He’s a nutter,” whispered one of the frogs.
“Mr. Frog,” said Mr. Blaborian. “I would like to extend to you an invitation to be a part of my orchestra. You’ve heard of it, of course. I mean, it’s hardly an assumption. You see, my name is Blaborian.” Mr. Blaborian bowed luxuriantly, a twinkle in his eye.
“Oh, well…yes. I mean…sure. Who hasn’t?” Gilbert said. “But the thing is, sir…I don’t play an instrument. I was singing.”
The frogs tittered, and Mr. Blaborian shot them a glance like Medusa telling kids to get off her lawn. “Instrument, singing, pish-posh,” said Blaborian, turning back to Gilbert. “It was exquisite, Monsieur Gilbert. Magnifique, is what I mean. You are the missing piece, Mr. Gilbert. The missing piece.”
It was not long after that Gilbert the Singing Frog made his debut with Mr. Blaborian’s Traveling Orchestra. And not long after that that he married the exquisite, the magnifique, Madame Daisyklee.
They, of course, lived happily ever after, and their children, well…I know you’ve heard of them.
Marcelle, the painter.
Titus, the sculpture.
Amelia, the prima ballerina.
But it was music that wrote the story. Music always does.