Where to start?

As I noted here previously, sometime around September of 2003 some fliers appeared in Seattle, proclaiming the loss of what appeared to be a small boy’s frog. “Who took my frog?” the author asked, plaintively. Concluding with a determined “P.S. I’ll find my frog,” the fliers were noted and remarked upon by at least a couple of Seattle-based bloggers, Jeff Sharman and Samantha, whose last name I do not know at present.

As Jeff notes, sometime in September 2004 the flier was introduced to an online image sharing community, where it quickly became the subject of a still-growing set of visual riffs. An enterprising individual soon registered the domain lostfrog.org, where new contributions continue to be posted. Around this time, another high-traffic community website, MetaFilter, hosted two different threads concerning the frog flier and subsequent images. This image of the flier comes from the lostfrog.org site.


In one of the MetaFilter threads, an enterprising researcher established that Hopkin was a toy distributed as a freebie by the McDonalds corporation. Others noted that someone had called the family and verified that the frog was indeed a toy. Intrigued, I went back and looked at the initial postings that Jeff and Samantha had made, and realized that there was a high likelihood that the person who made the fliers lived in my neighborhood.

I did my own research then, and quickly found one of the toys on eBay for about $5.00. Having purchased it and established where the flier artist lived, I cast about for my next step. As it happened, I received a call from an editor of mine, who was establishing a new relationship with a community paper that covers the neighborhood where the family lived. I ran it by her, and was given the go-ahead to pitch a story to the editor-in-chief of the neighborhood paper. We got in touch, and she green-lighted the idea.


I’m in the middle of working on a big pile of stories for another publication, so I added the family to my list of calls each day. Initially, I spoke with a female child, and requested a call back from her father; then I spoke with an elderly woman, and then an adult female. In no case did I ever get a call back; this didn’t greatly concern me.

Finally, Sunday afternoon, I picked up the phone and dialed the family’s number; to my surprise, the father was there. Here is more or less what he told me.

First, he was not interested in appearing in a neighborhood newspaper story about his son’s lost frog and the internet. He gave me permission to write about it here, however. Out of consideration for his concerns, I have chosen not to explicitly identify the family.


The person who drew the flier is a sixteen-year-old boy who suffers from autism. His father was unaware that his son may have made more than one batch of fliers (it appears that new fliers were hung in May of 2004). He did know about the loss of the frog and I believe that he knew about the first batch of fliers.

He also did not want me to give the frog to his son. He’s forgotten it, he told me. Bringing it up again will probably only bring up a bunch of bad memories.

He was quite unaware of the interest in the frog and the flier on the internet. He reiterated that he did not think it would be a good idea to show the sites to his son.


He was pleasant throughout our conversation. But he was quite clear and firm in his opinion that reminding the child of his lost frog, even to the point of restoring it to him, would be inadvisable for the boy. On his behalf, he asks that no-one send other Hopkins to the child. I was happy to hear that apparently I have been the only person calling them about the frog. Left unstated was the suggestion that future calls will be unnecessary.

So, then, that’s the resolution. Hopkin was lost by an autistic adolescent; this explains something of the sense of determination that comes through the initial flier. His family requests that no Hopkins be sent and that people seeing the Hopkin flier should not call with frog news, or, as I did, to find out what the story behind the flier is.


It’s a different ending to the story than I expected or had hoped for, certainly; but on another level, it means that Hopkin will remain forever lost, justifying and extending the mounting need for Hopkin-related photoshop tomfoolery. Perhaps someday the flier’s author will stumble upon lostfrog.org, or the tee shirt. I simply cannot imagine what that moment of perception might be like.

I hope this blog post satisfies some curious people. I am glad to know the backstory now, and hope this data proves useful to you as well.

UPDATE, July 1, 2005: Seven months later, this post is still generating interest and links from large collaborative sites. Every other month, on average, someone links to it from a high-traffic link-collector, and I get another day of several thousand site visits to the page. Just today, MetaFilter, a site in which I actively participate, linked to this page again. A commenter there chucklingly suggested I should link to the thread, and so I have.

Another commenter in the MeFi thread is curious about a link in a comment posted here after the initial publication. In that link, citizenkafka recounts calling Terry’s mom about two weeks before I did, and mentions a) Terry’s mom knew about lostfrog.org and b) that Terry has a new frog.

I did not speak to Terry’s mom, but to his dad. The family is of an ethnicity that often emphasizes patriarchy and the adults clearly speak English as a second language. I didn’t want to step on toes by grilling Mom or Sis or Granny.

Terry’s dad told me what I recount – he was unaware of the web’s interest, and so was Terry, and that was a good thing as far as he was concerned. I specifically asked if other people had been calling, and he indicated that no-one had.

However, not mentioned in the thread comments is yet another story of someone calling Terry’s family. In this story, a forum participant (possibly affiliated with the very first site to post the image) called and spoke with Terry’s sister. I can’t recall the details of that interaction, but the poster noted that he was ecouraged not to locate and give a new frog to Terry.

Finally, Terry’s dad did tell me that he has a new frog. Although I don’t recall this explicitly, I believe I must have asked if the frog was called Hopkins. Terry’s dad emphasized that the frog was different. I was surprised on reviewing this post that I did not mention it directly. Presumably I didn’t think it had bearing on Hopkin.

I believe that in all probability the other members of the family just never mentioned the calls regarding the appearance of the flyer on the web – remember that Terry was actively posting these flyers for at least six months, and that they included a phone number. Others must have called before the web got hold of it.

So in my mind, the different narratives associated with Terry’s family boil down to internally consistent perspectives, despite the apparent contradictions. It’s possible, of course, that Terry’s dad actually was aware of the internet hubbub but chose to deny it in order to keep our converation brief. Of course, over time it becomes more likely that the family will become aware of it, as well.

88 thoughts on “Hopkin Explained

  1. There weren’t only six numbers when the picture was first circulated. The seventh number was removed later.

  2. “it means that Hopkin will remain forever lost”


    This is easily as disturbing as Sam never getting home in ‘Quantum Leap’.

  3. Man, what a joykill, I’d rather we didn’t know the truth and kept believing it was some 5 year old boy. If this were just a 5 year old he could be kicking it with new frogs and media attention for feel good stories, and parents getting a kick out of the photoshop stuff. Now it’s something people probably don’t want to have a laugh about.

  4. it being a teenage autistic boy makes it much sadder. I wish he had found his frog before he ‘forgot’ about it.

  5. This is some great research. I love this sort of information, and you procured it with sensitivity and tact. Great work.

  6. Mike,

    Hi it’s Cyndi Elliott. I love this found art about the frog and even though he real story is sad, I am glad you got to the bottom of it! Ever the truth-seeker!

  7. !!

    Great work, Mike! Despite seeing just about every remix on the “image sharing community,” I never once realized the fleirs were from Seattle.

  8. perhaps one day the kid will understand the pleasure the story of hopkin has given to many. what a thouroughly good yarn.

  9. I also purhcased a Hopkin on Ebay, with the intention of restoring it to Terry. It’s such a heartwrenching poster, especially for me. Every day during the summer I go and try to catch frogs out in the pond on my lunch break. It keeps me from going cube-crazy. Anyway, I felt I had to help the poor kid find his frog! But I guess given the circumstances I should just keep my hopkin and give him a good home.

  10. Lets hope the kid will get his frog some day, I don’t think I’ve read something like this in a long time…

    Also, this is actually the first time I’ve heard about this story

    Good luck if there’ll be any further doings in giving the boy he’s Hopkin

  11. It’s only a joykill if you let it be. Why don’t we all channel the feeling of Hopkin into donating a stuffed animal to a toy drive or a local hospital. That way Hopkin kinda gets to go home. Even if it’s in a parallel universe.

  12. It’s only a joykill if you let it be. Why don’t we all channel the feeling of Hopkin into donating a stuffed animal to a toy drive or a local hospital. That way Hopkin kinda gets to go home. Even if it’s in a parallel universe.

  13. I called a couple of weeks ago as well and spoke to Terry’s sister. I’m glad I didn’t push too hard to talk to Terry or to replace the lost frog. I’m also glad you were able to get a fuller story out of this.

  14. Great story and great discovery work. I’m not sure whether to feel better or worse though. When I first read of the posters, I was down for about a day thinking about the poor kid and his lost frog (okay, maybe not ALL day…but for a while). Now I’m sorta at loose ends. I think I will take Bryan’s idea though and donate a toy this holiday season, a frog if I can find one.

  15. If you’re smitten with the Hopkin story you might enjoy The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
    . It’s a sweet little novel about an autistic boy who tries to solve a murder mystery (told from the POV of the autistic boy). 4 stars on amazon and highly recommneded around these parts (Sydney). Cheers

  16. If the father thinks Terry has forgotten about the frog, he’s mistaken. People with autism have long memories.

  17. Aww, maybe you can hold on to it, in case the boy remembers one day and starts freaking out again. :/

  18. There is a very interesting part to the story which, happily, you all are overlooking. The First Rule prevents me from explaining.

  19. after thinking about this for a bit, i am annoyed that this couldn’t be left as a fun mystery, a bit of absurdity.

    what might be is almost always better than what really is.

    you’ve kinda ruined it for me.

    at least i got a chuckle over all the emails people sent me about it…


  20. Betsy is right: the father is wrong to think that “Terry has forgotten about the frog”, at least as an ultimate and final forgetting. I’d bet money that “returning” the frog would please Terry, and might even alter some facets of his views about “reality,” perhaps even about people “caring.”

  21. As someone who used to work with autistic teenagers / adults, I can tell you that one of the things they are least equipped to deal with is CHANGE, of any sort. Which is probably (a) why Terry got so upset about the loss of Hopkin in the first place, and (b) why his father asked you not to send him another frog.

    Anyway, brilliant story, esp. since it has its roots in a cheap Mc Donald’s toy. The lostfrog.org site continues to delight, confound, and/or amuse everyone I send it to.

  22. These sorts of viral things on the Internet always kind of puzzle me. It’s kind of like how Mahir was an internet celebrity for a few months. What’s doubly amusing is that marketing execs are trying to find the magic formula that catches the imagination of the internet (although burger king’s advertisers found it in that disturbing chicken flash ad). In this case, I’m guessing it’s the human element of the poorly-worded cry for help along with the crude drawings. The psychological subtext of these things are fascinating.

  23. Greetings, guests.

    I just wanted to note that as of now, I’m moderating the comments here. Someone just anonymously posted a stringent difference of view with Harold’s posts, above, and did so with a spoofed ID, using Harold’s email.

    Harold is indeed the person behind lostfrog.org, the primary means whereby we were all able to easily enjoy the meme.

    He has expressed his opinion honestly and without combativeness. I personally feel that he should be congratulated for his quick thinking in setting up lostfrog.org and for the enjoyment the site provides.

    As I noted in the intial post, I don’t see why it’s necessary to stop submitting frog stuff. I regret my own use of the word ‘ending’ in my intial post, which seems to have keyed much of the subsequent linkage.

    If you disagree with Harold’s opinion that’s fine. But please, be respectful and do not post criticisms anonymously.

  24. What I do find funny is the picture that the kid drew of the frog looked like a bad drawing of a frog. Then you see what the stuffed toy looks like and it’s actually a pretty good drawing!

  25. I think the mysteries inside an autistic human mind make this even more intriguing. A 5 year old child would have forgotten within days. This kid probably went through Hell over this loss. Trying to connect to the outside world to get it back seems to me to be something worth noting. Autism is often marked with the inability to connect outside one’s self.
    I hope that Harold continues to post the new pics. Finding his site today, made my day so I submitted my own. Bigfoot and the lost frog.

  26. Mike, fair enough: I’ll repost non-anonymously, and try to tone down the stringency. Since you’ve let a few “name withhelds” stand, I’m guessing that’s really why you felt you should moderate.

    Still, even after re-reading them, Harold’s comments above still don’t sit so well with me, so I feel that I’d still like to have my point of view heard.

    I just think that if upon finding out that the person behind the original flier is a 16 year old autistic boy, all Harold can muster is annoyance, that reaction is somewhat mean spirited, even if the kid never sees it.

    Do I think he should not have done lostfrog.org? No. The idea for the site and most of the images are admittedly pretty clever, and I’d argue that it doesn’t cross the line into mean-spiritedness. Should he keep it up? That’s his business.

    There are so many really worthy objects of derision in this world, it just seems that we should be channeling that creative energy into ridiculing, say, greedy white-collar criminals, fundamentalist crazies of all stripes, powerful people who don’t care who they destroy, people of various kinds of ill will. You get the idea. Really ridiculous people. I think Bryan’s post above is a much better reaction.

    Mike, if you’re the only one who ends up seeing this, I do admire the detective work you did, and I think you treated the whole topic very well.

  27. This story was posted in a blog thread about the lostfrog site, so I’ve only had a couple of days to take in the site before this discovery…

    It makes a lot of sense. The above mentioned accuracy of the “sloppy” drawing, and the relationship of the “author” to the language…There’s a sense of agency through declaration that young kids will use out loud but only rarely commit to paper.

    I took the lostfrog photoshops as celebrations of the original, not mockery, so the more poignant information about the real author makes me feel bittersweet, but somehow the whole flier-to-meme process seems even more special.

    So thanks to Harold (who I will say shouldn’t blame you for dispelling mystery–he obviously pulled the link, right?) and thanks to you, Mike.

    If I ever get around to doing some full size glossy print of the Black Nature photoshop, I’ll send one your way.

  28. jason,
    my annoyance is not with the fact that the flyer was created by a 16 year old autistic boy, it’s with the fact that the “truth” needed to be sought out in the first place.

    i love things which make no sense. i love the absurd. i like not knowing the whole story behind things like this. i didn’t want to know who the tourist guy was, or the star wars kid, or who goatse guy is.

    all that said, i still find it funny, and will continue to add images as i receive them (not all of them, though. i can’t tell you how many “hopkin has a posse” and “all your base” images i have received).

    and speaking of the absurd, there’s always chengwin!


  29. Its both sad and interesting at the same time.
    You would hope that the child didn’t find out, it would be shades of the Star Wars Kid over again.

  30. as a mother of an autistic child. i have to add this, my daughter also loved that frog when it came out.

  31. Oh gawd… That father must really hate his child. I don’t mean he hates him because he’s autistic, it’s just he doesn’t even want him to get a new frog. Like a child with autism could even tell it wasn’t their frog.


  33. [quote]Oh gawd… That father must really hate his child. I don’t mean he hates him because he’s autistic, it’s just he doesn’t even want him to get a new frog. Like a child with autism could even tell it wasn’t their frog.[/quote]

    Quite the contrary. A friend’s autistic child developed an attachment to a t-shirt. He wore the shirt every day. Laundry day was traumatic – he wanted his shirt NOW and would stop the washer and dump an entire soaking-wet load of clothes on the floor to find his shirt. One day the shirt “disappeared” – with the full support of his OT and doctor.

  34. [quote]Oh gawd… That father must really hate his child. I don’t mean he hates him because he’s autistic, it’s just he doesn’t even want him to get a new frog. Like a child with autism could even tell it wasn’t their frog.[/quote]

    Are you kidding me? I agree with Emily, I’m sure the dad knows what he is talking about since he is the one that lives with Terry and with his Autism.

    I’m sure the father wants what’s best for his son. He just chose not to make his son available for to the public. Its hard enough for a fully functioning 15 year old to deal with “fame” (to whatever extent that fame exists) think about what that could do to an autistic 15 year old. I think once again “Father Knows Best.”

  35. I have to agree with Joy and Emily. As someone mentioned before, Terry may find it even harder to cope with the return of Hopkin, and I think in this case it is best not to judge the actions of a father who has his child’s best interests at heart. After all, you have to agree that someone who knows Terry best and understands his autism better than you or I probably knows better than us in this situation.

  36. Like most I saw the web site first and then did a search to find this site. Initially, as much as I loved the frog site, I believed it was a hoax — as many have noted, while these thoughts are authentic of a very young person, they are never expressed on paper this way.

    Now that I know… I think it’s wonderful. I, too, have worked with the autistic, and what some folks see as tragic I see as an amazing expression of the human mind. We often try and define “normal” by standards that make us comfortable, but normality can only be defined in terms of majority. Whose to say that Terry’s view of the world isn’t more correct than any of us?

    In any case, rather than argue philosophy here I will say that now the story is more powerful than ever, and is remarkable in so many ways I think I will carry it always somewhere within me. Thanks to Harold for the orignal site, and thanks to this author (Mike?) for doing the research to complete the story.

    And thanks to Terry for being the person he is and letting us see a little into his mind.

    (P.S. I will find my frog)

  37. hi, i just want to tell you that Hopkin story came to europe, poland. i’m seating in a small mountain village in south-west of poland and wondering about Hopkin, Terry and whole this story… it’s hard to belive how powerful internet is…

  38. I don’t have autism, but I do have an autistic spectrum disorder, Asperger’s syndrome. Personally, I think the Hopkin thing is hilarious. It’s one of those things that really got stuck in my head. Periodically, my thoughts turn to a vision of the Eye of Sauron and voice like God’s, booming with undeniable authority, “I’LL FIND MY FROG!” Hee!

    Anyway. I’d first like to say that yes, it’s entirely possible that Terry would be capable of identifying “his” Hopkin Frog from another. We’re pretty good at noticing minutiae, and even the pattern or number of stitches on his frog might have been significant to him.

    Second, I’m not sure I agree that Terry’s likely forgotten his frog, but if he’s been able to accept its absence, then it definitely IS better to keep him from getting a new one. Change is rough, even good change. Any break from routine – whether intrinsically good or bad – can be traumatic for autistics. The frog reappearing from nowhere might trigger a meltdown, or undesirable perseveration over it. Also, there would be little chance that Terry would see the act of kindness as a connection to humanity. There is a neurological difference in autistic brains versus neurotypicals that causes us to see unfamiliar people as objects. To be honest, I wonder what it’s like to see people in the way you NTs do. Is it like every human on Earth is a family member? But anyway, Terry would probably see one object returning another, not an ambassador from the Outside World.

    I tend to agree with harold_ikes — the story was a little more fun not knowing where it came from. But now that I do, it doesn’t have to ruin it. It’s still a funny poster, and there’s some really inspired stuff on the lostfrog website.

    If you readers are now burning with the need to give toys to children with medical needs, but frustrated that Terry’s father doesn’t want him buried under a generous onslaught of eBay-ed Hopkin Green Frogs, consider making a donation to the Child’s Play charity (http://www.penny-arcade.com/childsplaycharity/index.php), whose aim is to deliver toys to sick children in hospitals across America this holiday season.

    P.S. The preview is in all caps, but my typing was not. If my post is “shouting” when it goes up, my humble apologies to all.

  39. Excellent. This bit of reporting brought the Hopkin experience full circle for me. Part of the enjoyment is wondering “Is this lost frog for real, or is it just one more of those stupid internet hipster things?” The philosopher in me just has to get to the bottom of these things, and finally knowing Terry’s story makes it richer, personally.
    This is a quickie personality test. Do you like your lost frogs absurd and groundless, or do you like them rooted in context? When I emailed my friends the lostfrog url, I included this one, with an explicit warning not to read it first, and then only if they needed some kind of closure.
    There are some fairly thoughtful responses here. For my part, I think that it is more than absurdity which allows Hopkin G. Frog to attract us; I think it has something to do with the universal experience of loss. Life is a record of losing and gaining, but there’s something especially vivid about that special toy you lost when you were a child. (Boba Fett, in my case.) This comes through in the desperate, earnest, and determined tone of Terry’s flyer. Reading the comments here, you get a feeling of some of the different ways – some empathetic, others bemused – with which people respond. As adults, that loss is comparatively trivial, but as children, it’s so powerful. How much more so it must be for Terry, that his father feels it necessary to protect him from the memory of it.

  40. Nice research, but you didn’t follow the story far enough back. The poster was originally put online by Bunkadoo back in July of this year. His buddy Citizenkafka, found the original while walking through Seattle. You can find the original story HERE.

  41. Interesting article and very interesting reading of the followup posts. I am the mother of an autistic child also. He never forgets ANYTHING that is tramatic to him. But with work, we can get him to accept it. I can understand why the Father did not want the frog replaced, but I’m glad that it did, as posted by Mike on Dec 3. We had a dog that had to be given away because he nipped at the heels of some children who were teasing him by running away from him (he was a border collie). That was 4 years ago. My son still stresses about it. Autistic children have to be handled differently about change in their life.
    Good Reporting and thank you for handleing sensitively.

  42. And that little boy went on to become the president of the United States. And now you know, the rest of the story.

  43. I think it’d be wonderful if someone started a hopkin fund to help pay for research in the field of medicine where Autism is a concern. It’d be a great gift to poor Terry, who could one day understand everything that happened.

  44. ive found lostfrog.org while feeling like im losing my mind, i thought it was great, capturing the surreal spirit of innocence in a way that you simply cant fake. knowing the truth behind it doesnt ruin it for me at all (I find the comments of killjoy positively offensive) it makes it more wonderful, i find it so beautiful as much as it is heart-wrenching sad. the many images ppl have made evoke the feeling of searching the world and for this hopkin green frog must remain perpetually lost. to me its seems to have already seperated from reality and to interfer with the source and his family is i feel unnecessary and perhaps even self-indulgent. i’m also glad that all the submissions to the site are anonymous, people havent created them to impress anyone but(and maybe i’m presuming) because they have been personally inspired by it and much as they are humourous they dont mock it in any way. i dunno maybe i’m reading too much into it but apart from anything it has really touched me and helped distract me from my own problems dealing with reality/society/life. i intend to make my own homage as soon as ive had some sleep…

  45. Uh, what’s a “joykill”? There’s no such word. “Killjoy” wasn’t good enough for you idiots? Go make up your own language off the Internet, please.

  46. how sad he cant have his frog back but all is not lost me and a couple of my freinds are gong to buy hopkin green frog t-shirts!!!lol

  47. I read the backstory on Hopkin before going to LOSTFROG.ORG. The images had me laughing helplessly until I realized I had tears on my cheeks… not from crying with laughter; just from crying. Even though the concept continues to amuse the hell out of me, the sense of loss beneath it cuts very close.

  48. you know, until reading this I had always thought Hokin was either a REAL frog, or the whole thing was an Internet ‘put up job’.

    It’s bittersweet finding the truth, but I will still find the lostfrog.org pics a source of creativity and amusement.

    And wasn’t it interesting that though Terry’s Dad *didn’t* want Hopkin replaced, he neglected to mention that Terry had a replacement as comfirmed here by Terry’s mother?


  49. Very similar to a book I recently read, “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime”; about an autistic 15 year old who’s on a mission to find out who killed his neighbor’s dog.

  50. Mike,
    Me like story about green frog, Me think frog story good, green frog Good, Ilike to see more frog, I like frog
    I like to swim.
    Frog Good
    He will find frog, frog goos

    Lenny Clamsteak

  51. i like it better that hopkin’s original owner has no idea of the virtual buzz that’s been created by his flyer; leaves it open. a little disappointing that the family is so unreceptive to this incredible little representation of the beauty and power of the internet. man, the people who inhabit this world are so curious and resourceful. amazing.

  52. My husband found this site while searching for information on autism in teenagers. We do this sort of thing often because we’re raising an autistic child who is now 13. I’d like to speak to those who cannot understand why the parents of this boy don’t want the frog back and why they don’t want contact from strangers regarding the issue.

    Have you ever seen a toddler throw a fever-pitched tantrum…. a real kicker and screamer? Now, with that thought in mind, consider the child is a great deal larger and stronger than your average toddler.. and a great deal louder as well. Compound this with the fact that this child is genuinely tortured by the loss of the familiar. Change is not only unwelcome but terrifying! Imagine, if you can, this child carrying the frog with him everywhere (it may have sat upon the toilet while he took a bath, been picked up and carried from room to room and anywhere he might have gone outside the house, may very well have been on his pillow each night) .. now that you have some idea of the importance this frog had moment to moment in this boy’s life, consider how many times a day he was reminded of its loss? Each time he reached for it and it wasn’t there was a torture on a mind that cannot process emotion, cannot express itself in a way anyone but he can fully understand.

    Now, what about these parents? These people have undoubtedly been glared at for their obvious poor parenting… ** you should be reading sarcasm here ** Their child throws tantrums, talks to himself (quite loudly at times), ignores people who speak to him, does not make eye contact, burps and farts in public without a care and is generally socially unacceptable. During the frog-loss trauma, these people likely did not sleep at night (autistic children often do not sleep through the night which means he was reminded there was no frog when he woke at 2am) were tasked with trying to comfort an inconsolable child repeatedly throughout the day and were more likely than not scorned by strangers during all their valiant efforts.

    As a final point, I’d like to mention that this child, depending on his level of autism and his personal experience, might very well be scared of strangers. Imagine if that were the case and strangers at the grocery store recognized your child and approached him (well meaning, but unwelcome)? As a parent of an autistic child, you are not only their protector but their buffer as well. I know very well what these parents might have gone through to come out the other end of their frog-loss trauma. For anyone who thinks this story is anti-climatic, remember that these parents are ‘every day heroes’. They helped their child mourn the loss of his sense of security, encouraged him to find another source, consoled him through his moments of terror and uncertainty … and protected him emotionally from people who know nothing of their every day struggle… That sounds like a beautiful ending to this story to me.

  53. I find this weird…I live in Stony Brook, NY, and I just found a flier posted in a building last week…I guess it’s still pretty popular, no?

  54. I live in Vancover got this poster at my door in a envolope. It has my name on it too

  55. To all the goobers who still think it’s all a big lark, please spend a couple of minutes reading “Love Monkey”‘s beautiful message. The hell that Terry’s parents must have endured is hard for me to even imagine.

    I’m not talking about their having to endure what must have been a first-class tantrums or the glaring looks from strangers nearby… I’m talking about the heart-wrenching agony of knowing how much their beloved son was suffering, and having nothing to do to relieve it.

    I’ve lost a child, so I know something of their pain.

    Not everything is a joke. Fuck you and your “joykill.”

  56. Why not harness this phenomenon to raise money for autism awareness? We could order green bracelets with “I’ll find my frog” (a rather optimistic if vaguely threatening phrase) and sell them to raise money for autism research. Any takers? I’ll be happy to do the legwork.

  57. Just dropping in to leave a comment. My name’s Neil, I’m technically on the autistic spectrum. Nowhere near as bad as Love Monkey’s child, or Tarry himself…I’ve merely got Asberger’s. However, I do volunteer work for those who are more seriously disabled than me. I’ve got it easy, but I still know a shadow of what Terry, his family, and Love Monkey (as well as HER family) deal with. I can sympathize…and I think learning the truth behind Hopkin Green Frog just made things come together perfectly. Then again, I found the site and the solution within 24 hours of eachother, but still. Best wishes in the world, Terry, and anyone else in his boat, as well as my fellow ‘bergers. Oh yes…by the by…

    …Hopkin’s kinda cute anyhow.

  58. This story isn’t sad, nor is it happy.

    It’s amazing. The fact that an autistic boy managed to communicate with the external world as this boy did is impressive. Not only did he know exactly what was lost, he also knew how to go about getting it back and he did so. Maybe he wasn’t successful, but I’ve never heard of an autistic child setting about doing something like this. It’s truly an inspiring tale.

    I also liked the idea mentioned earlier, wherein someone said that if you want to return Hopkin to Terry then you should donate a Hopkin to a local children’s hospital. Novel idea and everyone wins. The family keeps their peace, and a child gets a smile.


  59. Love Monkey couldn’t have said it better. At first I was a little sad that Terry wasn’t quite the little boy I’d imagined to me (then was promptly very glad that Hopkin wasn’t a REAL frog) but now, after reading over all these posts, I can see more about this story. I won’t rehash what so many people have said, but I will say I think a lot of us can learn from a touching story such as this one.

    Also, it would be great to see some sort of fund set up for autism (I really like the bracelet idea myself).

  60. this is rather disappointing–its much more fun when you think it was a young kid making age- appropriate grammatical errors…
    That doesnt mean i wont laugh XD
    Anyhoo, does anyone know where i can send my photoshopped Hopkin picture??

  61. The tale of Terry and Hopkin is a truly fascinating and interesting one. I stumbled across the site while browsing through the “Weird Earl’s” section on Cecil Adams’s The Straight Dope website. Upon seeing the homemade flyer, I was greeted with a rush of memories from my childhood… I can see my five year-old self doing such a thing… Losing a favorite toy like the pink stuffed bunny that I treasured so much and taking all sorts of steps to retrieve it. That this autistic young man’s struggle to reunite himself with his beloved frog reached as far as Poland is simply amazing.

    Now let’s all wish Terry the best and have a laugh at the fine photoshop frolics over at LostFrog.org!

  62. I would like to add more to my previous comment.

    Since the rapid advance of the internet took place in the late 90’s, who among us have not heard naysayers accuse us, the internet conesseurs, of being lazy and lethargic? In the face of those who say that the “internet phenomenons” have been nothing but a waste of time for America’s teenagers, I wave Terry’s determined plea for his precious Hopkin Green Frog, for if there was ever a need for such scrimchandery, it is now. We can all take comfort in the fact that in a world gone mad with terrorism and white-collar corruption, there is still at least one special young man who finds pleasure in the simplest of things! I recall someone mentioning the donation of toys to a hospital. Household chores may be foregone to devote time to photoshopping Terry’s rendition of his treasured Hopkin Green Frog, but are one thousand dirty dishes not worth a smile on a child’s face?

  63. We Hope You Find Your Frog,
    We will look out for Hopkin Green Frog
    Detectives at work for frog
    Good luck with Frog
    Green Frog

  64. L.C.F.F
    feels hopkin green frog is good for enviornmental and social issues.

    Go green!
    Hopkin Green
    you will find your frog dude>>>

  65. I bought an unopened Hopkin of my very own off of eBay earlier this week. It came along with Cole the bear (also from the McDonald’s line of Animal Alley toys). The two of them with shipping charges cost me $5.99. They just arrived today. Unlike Terry, I don’t plan on losing my frog. I am going to keep him in his package and he is never leaving the house. However, if something unforeseen should happen to my frog, I’m not stopping at posting a few fliers around town. I will be hunting people down and I will be kicking asses.

    1. Over 10 years later and I still have my frog. I’m not sure where Cole the bear is, though. Goddammit.

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