Punch,  43 (1862), 147.

The Frog in the Block of Coal



News-Commentary, Drollery


Palaeontology, Zoology, Exhibitions, Language, Charlatanry, Comparative Philology, Geology, Collecting, Psychology

    A spoof report that the frog which emerged from a block of coal displayed at the International Exhibition spoke in 'the Welsh tongue' shortly before its 'untimely decease', and that it spoke of 'the cause of it being so immured', although there were no Welsh-speaking people present to interpret what it said. However, goes on to note that the Welshman, David ap Morgan ap Rees, managed to understand the frog. He told Punch how the frog sought to overcome public feelings that it was 'an imposture' and became agitated at news that it had been confused with its brother, the 'Frog who was swallowed up by the lily-white duck'. Punch proceeds to explain how Roderick I Murchison inspected the coal containing the frog and went away 'a disbeliever', while Friedrich Max Müller conversed with the frog and 'pronounced it to be of the Ayran family'. Concludes by noting how Francis T Buckland made inquiries about stuffing the frog after its death, which caused the frog to become 'nervous and hypochondriachal'.

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