An up-close and personal look at this controversial amphibian that rarely (if ever) feels the love.

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The ever so perplexing frog die cut (or toad if you prefer).  What could Dennison have been thinking?  Why a frog?  And what is their correlation to the graphics used in vintage Halloween imagery?

For thousands of years frogs, as well as toads, have been associated with witch’s potions and spells occupying a prominent place in the magical folklore of many societies.

Caped witches wearing pointed black hats, on or off broomsticks, with black cats as companions are a mainstay in Halloween imagery.  Witches conjure up an image of cackling hags poised over black cauldrons, creating mysterious potions and chanting evil spells.  Frogs and toads were sometimes cast into their boiling cauldrons.  Frog toes went into the three witches’ spell pot in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, and in As You Like It, Shakespeare invoked the “toadstone,” a rock that supposedly formed in a toad’s body and was worn as a protective amulet.  Witches were believed to control the weather by concocting brews from frogs and toads, often referred to as “Toad Soup”.  Undoubtedly, many experienced illness or death after ingesting or applying some sort of frog-made brew including their toxic secretions.

Frogs tend to be portrayed as having a sinister reputation, but with hidden talents.  Toads are often not distinguishable from frogs.  Frogs are taller with a green shade and more cheery and relaxed than a toad.  Toads are shorter and stout with a brown shade.  And while just as caring and friendly as frogs, they’re also portrayed as the more serious and tense of the duo.

Still unclear what Dennison was aiming for?  This frog definitely has quite the superior attitude.  It appears the artist/illustrator let their imagination run “wild” envisioning this diecut decoration as a compilation of both amphibious species.  Ribbit, ribbit.