Louis Wain – The Frogmousiad

Comprising of only nine pages, The Frogmousiad was a translation of the Batrachmyomachia, (which was a parody of the Homeric Epic, probably written in the fifth century BC by Pigres of Halicarnassus, using mice and frogs as the main combatants.) by Rev. Dr. H. Kynaston and illustrated by Louis Wain.

The story has been edited and laid out here in almost the same way as it was originally published in 1891 by the English Illustrated Magazine. A Kindle ebook version has also been created, which you can purchase by clicking on the button.

ONCE on a time, escaped from the claws of Pussy, a mouse
Stood at the brink of a pond, his thirsty muzzle to souse
Deep in the sweet fresh water ; when, looking up from below,
Organ-faced Mud King’s son beheld him, and shouted “ What ho!
Friend, who are you? Who’s your father? What brings you here to this strand?
Don’t let me catch you fibbing: the simple truth I demand.
If I should find you worthy, I’ll take you home as a guest,
Royally feast you, and load you with gifts the richest and the best.
Puff-cheek’s my name—I’m a King, and over this marshy domain,
Honoured by all the Frogs in power undisputed I reign.

Monarch of Mud was my father, who wooed the fair Puddle-Princess,
Wooed and made her his Queen in a bower of green watercress.
Thou too bearest thyself like a chieftain and warrior bold,
Tell me then of thy birth, and thy family record unfold.”
Then did the Mouse make answer, “ Why ask me ? The annals of Fame
Far and wide have distinguished our race : Crumb-snatcher’s my name,
Son of the brave Loaf-nibbler : my mother too was a Queen,
Lick-flour, daughter of Gnaw-ham : on scraps of the richest cuisine
Daintily fattened was I, and with figs, and apples, and cake.

Leave a Comment