MY HUSBAND IS A FROG • by Chelsea Hanna Cohen

When we go to sleep, everything is normal. When I wake up, my husband is a frog.

I know it’s him by his little froggy eyes, which look at me just the way my husband’s did. “Did” or “do”? Do you use the past tense when your husband is alive but no longer human?

I know there’s been an epidemic of this sweeping through town lately. Lilianne’s husband turned into a goat two weeks ago, and Marcia woke up on Thursday beside a turtle. It was all the talk at book club, but all I could do was sip my wine while they chattered on and on about it. Now I’ve got something to talk about next time.

I pick up the phone and dial Lilianne’s number. “Hello? Lilianne? I’m afraid I’ve got a bit of a problem. My husband’s a frog. How did you turn yours back?”

“I didn’t,” she replies. “He mows the lawn more now as a goat than he ever did when he was a human.”

I thank her and hang up. That’s all well and good for her, but I can’t see any way a frog would be more useful than a human.  Maybe if he’d become a horse or a cow instead. I call Marcia next.

“Marcia? Did you turn your husband back to a human?”

“Yes.” She gives me an address downtown. “There’s a witch who lives there. She’ll be able to help you out. But there’s usually a reason they’ve turned into an animal in the first place. Stuart was slower than dirt, that’s why he became a turtle. Luckily for him, I decided I liked him more as a human.”

“Did you ever figure out why he changed?”

“No clue. I just complained about how slow he was one day, and the next day, poof! Turtle.”

I frown. Why on earth could my husband have turned into a frog? He did have a tendency to complain, which I suppose you could see as croaking, but who didn’t like to vent every so often? And I don’t remember complaining about that myself recently.

Armed with the address, I put my husband in a bowl in the passenger seat and drive out. He croaks every so often, looking at me balefully. I don’t think he likes the bowl very much.

The address leads me to an ordinary-looking building on an ordinary-looking street. I pick up my husband and head for the door. When I enter, I’m surrounded by a million chaotic noises happening all at once. I’m not the only wife there, it seems – I see a woman holding a monkey, a woman with a parrot on her shoulder, and a woman with a wolf on a leash. In the middle of them all is who I can only presume is the witch, running around with a clipboard.

“Excuse me?” I call, trying to be heard over the din.

The witch hears me and comes over. “Yes, dearie?”

I hold out my husband. “This is my husband. He seems to have turned into a frog.”

The witch peeks at my husband through the bowl. He croaks at her. “I’m afraid I can’t help you,” she says.

“Why not?” I ask. I pull out my checkbook. “I’m prepared to pay whatever you ask.”

“This isn’t your husband, dearie. This is just a frog.”

“What?” I stare at her.

“This is a normal frog, garden variety. Nothing to be done here,” the witch says.  “Now if you’ll excuse me.” She snaps her fingers, and I hear a cry of pain as the monkey on the woman’s lap changes back into her husband.

I hear my phone beep and check the screen. “Went for bagels and u wr gone when I got back. Sorry 4 leaving window open. Any bugs get in?”

Well, there goes my story for book club.

The frog croaks and looks up at me with those big eyes, which strangely no longer resemble those of my husband. Perhaps I’ll keep him. There’s a spot in the backyard I’m sure he’ll enjoy.


Chelsea Hanna Cohen works in publishing by day, writes by night, and can often be found reading instead of doing either of those things. Her work has previously appeared in freeze frame fiction and Microchondria II.


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 average 5 stars • 1 reader(s) rated this

Every Day Fiction

  • S Conroy

    Chortle chortle, croak croak! Thanks for pasting a stupid grin across my face this Monday afternoon. Nothing superflous and super timing in this comedy.

  • S Conroy

    Chortle chortle, croak croak! Thanks for pasting a stupid grin across my face this Monday afternoon. Nothing superflous and super timing in this comedy.

  • MPmcgurty

    I thought this was delightful, although I had some issues with word choices here and there.

    “…woke up besides a turtle.” I think that should be “beside”, shouldn’t it?

    “Why on earth could my husband have turned into a frog?” “Could” sounds odd.

    “The witch peeks at my husband through the bowl.” Nothing earlier indicates it’s a clear bowl so, again, odd.

    “In the middle of them all is who I can only presume is the witch” is kind of clunky.

    A few more, but in total a very fun read.

    One of the best things about this is the lack of description for the witch. She’s like a camp counselor. The only witchy thing about her was calling people “dearie”. That’s great.

    4.5 but I had to round up to 5.

  • MPmcgurty

    I thought this was delightful, although I had some issues with word choices here and there.

    “…woke up besides a turtle.” I think that should be “beside”, shouldn’t it?

    “Why on earth could my husband have turned into a frog?” “Could” sounds odd.

    “The witch peeks at my husband through the bowl.” Nothing earlier indicates it’s a clear bowl so, again, odd.

    “In the middle of them all is who I can only presume is the witch” is kind of clunky.

    A few more, but in total a very fun read.

    One of the best things about this is the lack of description for the witch. She’s like a camp counselor. The only witchy thing about her was calling people “dearie”. That’s great.

    4.5 but I had to round up to 5.

  • This was a fun little story. Light, with a nice pace and just the right of subtle humor thrown in. I was a bit disappointed by the twist though. I was hoping it was actually him so I could learn more about this strange phenomena.

    And hey, why is it only the husbands!? 🙂

    Thanks for sharing!

    And look! Disqus is back! Fantastic!

    • Chris Antenen

      Yeah, why is it always the husband. I’ll never tell.

      Wouldn’t it be ‘hoping it was he’? Or am I just out-of-date?

      • Eh, him, he, I don’t know. 🙂 You’re probably correct, but him sounds better to me.

        • Chris Antenen

          I remember an English teacher saying, “If saying it correctly sounds awkward to you, say it correctly anyway– with confidence.”

      • S Conroy

        I actually had to check this recently when teaching a TEFL course. Micheal Swan Grammar says: It is possible to use a subject form after ‘be’ (i.e. It is I. It was he.), but this is extremely formal and is usually considered over-correct, especially in British English.

  • This was a fun little story. Light, with a nice pace and just the right of subtle humor thrown in. I was a bit disappointed by the twist though. I was hoping it was actually him so I could learn more about this strange phenomena.

    And hey, why is it only the husbands!? 🙂

    Thanks for sharing!

    And look! Disqus is back! Fantastic!

    • Chris Antenen

      Yeah, why is it always the husband. I’ll never tell.

      Wouldn’t it be ‘hoping it was he’? Or am I just out-of-date?

      • Eh, him, he, I don’t know. 🙂 You’re probably correct, but him sounds better to me.

        • Chris Antenen

          I remember an English teacher saying, “If saying it correctly sounds awkward to you, say it correctly anyway– with confidence.”

      • S Conroy

        I actually had to check this recently when teaching a TEFL course. Micheal Swan Grammar says: It is possible to use a subject form after ‘be’ (i.e. It is I. It was he.), but this is extremely formal and is usually considered over-correct, especially in British English.

  • Mccasey

    Thanks for a sweet Monday story. I enjoyed it very much and your ending surprised me!

  • Mccasey

    Thanks for a sweet Monday story. I enjoyed it very much and your ending surprised me!

  • Judy

    I’m still smiling. I hope something happens before book club or she may stay home. Excuse me while I check on my snake in the grass.

  • Judy

    I’m still smiling. I hope something happens before book club or she may stay home. Excuse me while I check on my snake in the grass.

  • A good punchline and I like the concept of the story.

  • A good punchline and I like the concept of the story.

  • Paul A. Freeman

    Fun.

  • Paul A. Freeman

    Fun.

  • Tony Acarasiddhi Press

    Yes, this is a fun one.

  • Tony Acarasiddhi Press

    Yes, this is a fun one.

  • Chris Antenen

    Really fun — and well done. Love the line ‘running around with a clipboard.’ But it always seems to me,that they hand it to me through a glass window and I’m the one running around. Easy 5 for me. A pleasure to read.

    Just one thing. Shouldn’t it be “I know it’s he by his . . .”

  • Chris Antenen

    Really fun — and well done. Love the line ‘running around with a clipboard.’ But it always seems to me that they hand it to me through a glass window and I’m the one running around. Easy 5 for me. A pleasure to read. Theme is creative and almost!!! believable. Is that wishful thinking?

    Just one thing. Shouldn’t it be “I know it’s he by his . . .” or change the sentence structure if you think that’s awkward.

  • Netty net

    This was funny here she wonder how husband became a frog; calls a friend.

  • Netty net

    This was funny here she wonder how husband became a frog; calls a friend.

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