Harriette the Frog is perhaps the most whimsical animal on the Carousel. She is certainly the most “ribbit-ing”. Harriette was adopted in loving memory by the family of Anna Harriette Murphy, remembered here by her surviving children, Ellyn, Evelyn, Eunice, Emelie, Elma, Elaine and Patrick. Every detail on Harriette is symbolic of some aspect of Anna H. Murphy’s life, even down to a frog being chosen to represent her.
After all, Anna had a porcelain frog collection numbering almost 200 thus making the animal a natural choice for Anna. Harriette is wearing a straw hat – something Anna always wore while gardening. In addition, Harriette has 12 tadpoles on her pinafore (six on each side) which represent each of her 12 children. The yellow rose was her favorite flower. Her purple dress is based on her favorite color.
Anna grew up during the Great Depression and, like many folks, she made her own clothes and canned fresh produce. Harriette’s bloomers, like Anna’s, were made out of flour sacks. And since frogs don’t eat canned food, Harriette is carrying a canning jar full of fireflies. Yum. Anna loved to catch fireflies as a child in Minnesota.
A loon, the state bird of Minnesota, is on a pocket of her apron. In the pocket is black whip licorice, her favorite candy, as well as a monogrammed hankie because Anna was a true lady and always carried a hankie with her. There is also a safety pin on the hem of her purple apron because Anna, despite time or place, could always produce a safety pin.