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How Rana, the Froglander, was a Parish Clerk in Batrachia ; and how he loved Sauriana, the Mayor's Daughter
How Rana came to be called the “Dutch Nightingale," and sang to
the Oozly Bird; and what the Oozly Bird told him of the Stork Family
How the Froglander really went a-wooing, and how he was taken in
by the Spider; and how the Spiţer and the Duck invented a Story.
How Rana came out at the Bottom of the Pond, and how he made
a Third at a Duel...
How the Froglander met with Master Mus in the Woods; and how,
while he mended his Mandolin, he listened to the Story of the Fox 46
How the Minstrel was bidden to the Wedding, and what happened
there. How he met with a Companion, and how they defeated the King of the Vampires
How Rana, the Froglander, was a Parish Clerk in Batrachia ; and how
he loved Sauriana, the Mayor's Daughter.
OU will not find any account of the country
called Batrachia in the geography books. Even Butler's “ Use of the Globes ” does not
tell what is its latitude and longitude. Mrs. Mangnall asks none of her impertinent questions about it; Pinnock's Catechism has no mention of it; and it has been left out of my School Atlas, so I don't much think you will see any map of it in yours, unless you bought the edition published at Toppititti in the year 1354,
and that is scarcely likely if you are not older than I take you to be.
The kingdom of Batrachia, or, as some called it, Frogland, was, in fact, a very remarkable place, and, like the inhabitants, was not a bit better than might have been expected, because it consisted mostly of a number of little villages, and that part of it which was not swamp was marsh and morass. The principal village was named Slosh, and the great man of this place was the Mayor, who, having begun life as a sandboy, was a very jolly fellow, as you know all sandboys are.
His name was Master Frosch, and when he was made Mayor, the Lord Chief Baron of the Court of Batrachia said that the choice of such a Mayor was a great credit to the people of Slosh, who were just the sort of folks to respect honest industry and wealth gained in the sand trade; and that these, when combined with hospitality and good living, were the very qualities most desirable in a chief magistrate. After saying this, the Baron went to dinner with the new Mayor, to his fine stone mansion at the edge of the island near which the village of Slosh was situated. You have heard of this island before, I dare say, for it was no other than the celebrated one called Toppititti, where, as you remember, there was neither land nor city, and the inhabitants were mostly engaged in digging potatoes with two-pronged forks.
Now it happened on the very day that Master Frosch was made Lord Mayor, that the Parish Clerk of Slosh, whose name was Rana, was coming home from the village