Sunday, February 20, 2005

My daughter the world-famous poet

About six years ago I was saying goodnight to my daughter, Eleanor, and we were talking about poetry. She said she didn't think she could write a poem so I challenged her to try. I told her to make the poem up and I'd write it down. At the time she was in the grips of a totemic affection for frogs and amphibians so the topic of her poem was no surprise, but the rhymes and the plot twist of what she dictated were so amusing that I not only wrote it down, I must have submitted it somewhere for publication. I say I "must have" because I don't recall doing so, but I don't know how else it could have wound up posted online. The truth is, I'd forgotten about the poem entirely but today at lunch Eleanor mentioned she had "discovered" it while Googling something. Sure enough, her poem "Frogs and Dogs" can be found on the Web site of the North American Amphibian Monitoring Program and on a site for the Australian Joey Scouts. As far as I'm concerned, this makes my daughter a world-famous poet. Her poem, beloved on two continents, can be read below (including a typo that I don't recall making, but which appears in both versions).


Frogs, frogs, they live in bogs,
And very moist they feel,
Dogs, dogs, the enemy of frogs,
They might make them a meal.

The frog runs away from the dog,
How very scared he feel,
The dog catches the frog,
And makes him do a deal.

The deal, says the dog, is to clean my house
And I won't make you a meal.
Now the dog and the frog are happy,
Cause they did that deal for real.

by Eleanor Broussard, Age 9

(By the way, the literary promise exhibited by this first effort has developed into a remarkable proficiency. Eleanor now writes with lush complexity and surprising maturity, though her affection for frogs seems, sadly, to have diminished.)

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