Mr. Frog Replaced


(From the Augusta Chronicle, September, 2003. Article by Charmain Z. Brackett)

Sherri Rivers had no idea how much a 10-inch resin frog dressed in costumes and bearing happy messages affected neighbors and people who drive by her Wheeler Road home. “Everywhere I go, people are concerned,” said Mrs. Rivers, whose Mr. Frog disappeared Aug. 19, 2003. A sign pleading for his return was placed in his seat on the wall. Since his disappearance, people have sent cards and emails expressing their displeasure at the “meanness” of the person who took the frog, and their wishes for his safe return. Others have brought gifts as possible replacements for Mr. Frog, which had been on Mrs. Rivers’ wall since January 2000. A woman and her daughter bought a standing frog and left it on her front doorstep with a note. Another woman and her daughter brought a cloth Santa frog as a replacement; however, Mrs. Rivers is afraid the rain would damage the frog, so he’s kept inside her home.

Dressing Mr. Frog

Part of the mystery of the missing frog was revealed Aug. 25, 2003 when a neighbor discovered what appeared to be pieces of Mr. Frog’s feet in her yard. With the outpouring of kindness, Mrs. Rivers said, she knew she had to continue with Mr. Frog, so she decided to pull out her backup frog to take the original’s place. “I see him as a bright spot with all the wars, job layoffs and people with cancer,” she said. “He was uplifting. I was depressed when I knew he wasn’t up there.” Her sister had given Mrs. Rivers the second frog not long after Mrs. Rivers got the first one. She’s hoping to find a catalog so she can order more frogs. However, her search has not turned up replacements. “I would like to have 12 of them,” she said, so she can dress a frog a month and have it ready and waiting its turn on the wall. She’s also hoping that whoever destroyed the first Mr. Frog will leave the current one alone. As long as she has a frog, Mrs. Rivers said, she plans to keep changing his costumes and monthly themes.