Many storytellers will tell you that the hardest part of storytelling is finding a story that so compels them to really want to tell it. I struggle with this myself, however, when I first started telling stories many years ago and read The Foolish Frog by Pete Seeger, I KNEW it was a story I wanted to tell!
It’s a tall tale where everyone, ie farmers, storykeeper, children, mothers, cows, barns–you get the idea–sing a hilarious song about a frog. Lo and behold, the frog hears the song and . . . well, I can’t tell you the ending, you’ll have to read it for yourself!
As far as I know, Pete heard this story from his father as a child and had been telling it ever since. My husband and I were the lucky ones who got to pick up Pete at his hotel when he was performing for a Smoky City Folk Festival concert in Oakland. We also got to meet his granddaughter, Cassandra Seeger, who at the time was a ballerina with the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. When I told him how much I loved The Foolish Frog, he said he would perform it that evening “if I can remember it!” He did and I’ll never forget it!
It saddened my heart to hear of his passing, however, we’ll always have all of his songs and stories. Here are just a sampling of what you can find at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh: