Australia has over 230 species of native amphibians, all frogs but a diverse range of frogs living in a diverse range of habitats. Some have even adapted to live in the desert. They spend most of their time hiding in mud with their bodies filled with water. This was very helpful to aboriginal people in times of drought. The frog, a creature so in tune with the weather, is said to sing to welcome the coming rain or in celebration of the rain which has arrived. Smaller frogs are more sensitive to moisture in the air so are more in tune with the rains and also more susceptible to droughts.
The frog, with it’s love of the water and the wet season, reminds us there is a time for everything and that the seasons will keep turning. It can be hard in dry times to imagine the rain ever coming and likewise, in a flood it is hard to imagine the rain ever stopping. I like to think of the frog as a reminder to us to get in tune with the changing weather and the cycle of the year. This association with rain and water also links the frog to the cleansing power of tears.
This sense of release that you get from letting go of your tears is echoed in a tale about the frog. All the animals were really really thirsty, there was no water in the world and the ancestors got together to talk about this issue. They knew that Tiddalick, the giant frog, had swallowed all the water but how to get it out of Tiddalick and back into the world where all the other creatures could have some? Well, this was quite a puzzle. They decided that if they could make Tiddalick laugh he wouldn’t be able to hold in all the water. So a worm ancestor tickled him and Tiddalick laughed and laughed and his whole body shook and out came all the water. The rivers filled up, the streams filled up, the waterholes filled up and the animals were able to drink at last! Indeed, the reason the frog croaks today is because he laughed and laughed and laughed so much he lost his voice!