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You are Here: Parachute History.com >> Humor >> The Fable of the Godfrogs

The Fable of the Godfrogs

By Crazy Pat

Once and then there was, of all things, a frog. Not your usual bumpy or horney frogs, but a nice slick-type frog by the name of Clyde.

Now Clyde achieved his standing as the Godfrog while I was still a tadpole. So, the first days of the Godfrogs, as the entire group of slick frogs came to be called later, are somewhat muddled in my mind.

Anyway, near as I can tell, Clyde was brought up in the waters along the runway of old Beeline DZ, just 40 ft. from the rock-hard target. The terrible tadpole fear he had of the roar of the airplanes would always turn ecstasy and hopping wonder at the pop and glide of the pretty, oh-so-beautiful, waltzing of the colorful canopies as they passed overhead to crash on the ground.

More than anything else in the world, Clyde wanted to be a parachute. He dreamed and schemed. And he figured that he could do it. After all, he had made it from a fish to a frog, so why not from a frog to parachute? Frog logic at its finest, pure and simple.

So he set at it. He figured and pondered.

He compared the waltzing glide of the parachutes to their unfortunate demise into a limp nothing. They reminded him of the windsock which always died with the wind. But careful study showed him that it wasn't the wind that killed canopies, but rather their contact with the ground. This was proven beyond doubt when on several occasions Clyde distinctly heard terrible screams, curses and moans of pain when the canopies crashed into the ground. The fact that the wind sock was snapping with life added further proof to this theory.

On his way one day to do a postmortem on a recently killed canopy, Clyde discovered the People-Totems. Up to this point, he had naturally assumed that the lumpy objects which dangled beneath the beautiful parachutes were ballast - dead weight and nothing more. (This theory is still adhered to in some government circles.)

At this point, things become rather fuzzy insofar as frog lore goes. It is a pity that so many frog facts have been lost in the mind-smashing quivers of frog fear, which is to say he was so scared that he wet his pants. He also wet copiously on the People-Totem at the same time.

And thus it was that frog fear led to the discovery of the 7200-foot Swoop and the foundation and propagation of the Godfrogs. Because shortly after Clyde did his frog fear bit, the wrath of the People-Totem caused him to be thrown with vigor out the open door of a jump aircraft at 7200 ft.

Once in freefall, Clyde really began to work on becoming a parachute. While he enjoyed the fun of freefall, he nevertheless felt it his duty as a frog to avoid becoming a flat frog as a result of sudden contact with the ground.

So as he fell, he thought.

And as he thought he got the frog fear which looked so beautiful from the ground that people began to copy the effect using smoke as a substitute. In order to think better, he stabled out. He was seen to do so by an old Frenchman who stole the idea and named it the French Frog.

Then in the midst of near disaster (89 feet) came the glimmer of the idea which was later to make Clyde the Godfrog. Putting his hands to his sides, he started into the Froggian Swoop. Now since the initial stages of the Froggian Swoop cause a surprising amount of horizontal displacement, people types on the ground were heard to remark, "Man, would ya watch that crazy frog! He's flat trackin!" And thus, the 'track' position was born. Unfortunately the newspapers got Clyde's name wrong so today the 'track' is miscalled the Max-Track, when it should actually be called the Clyde-Track.

Anyway, performing a perfect sequence of swoop-arch-upswing-touchdown, Clyde landed right in front of a group of young frogs who were protesting the increasing use of frog legs as a food item, and the term 'demonstration jump' was born.

More importantly, however, the Godfrogs were born.

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