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´╗┐Title: The Adventures of Grandfather Frog
Author: Burgess, Thornton W. (Thornton Waldo), 1874-1965
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Adventures of Grandfather Frog" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

FROG***


The Bedtime Story-Books

THE ADVENTURES OF GRANDFATHER FROG

by

THORNTON W. BURGESS

Author of _The Adventures of Reddy Fox_, _Old Mother West Wind_, etc.

With Illustrations by HARRISON CADY

Boston
Little, Brown, and Company

1920



[Illustration: "Have a nice nap?" inquired Jerry, with a broad grin.
(Frontispiece)]



CONTENTS


CHAPTER

    I. BILLY MINK FINDS LITTLE JOE OTTER

   II. LONGLEGS THE BLUE HERON RECEIVES CALLERS

  III. LONGLEGS VISITS THE SMILING POOL

   IV. THE PATIENCE OF LONGLEGS THE BLUE HERON

    V. GRANDFATHER FROG JUMPS JUST IN TIME

   VI. LONGLEGS AND WHITETAIL QUARREL

  VII. GRANDFATHER FROG'S BIG MOUTH GETS HIM IN TROUBLE

 VIII. SPOTTY THE TURTLE PLAYS DOCTOR

   IX. OLD MR. TOAD VISITS GRANDFATHER FROG

    X. GRANDFATHER FROG STARTS OUT TO SEE THE GREAT WORLD

   XI. GRANDFATHER FROG IS STUBBORN

  XII. GRANDFATHER FROG KEEPS ON

 XIII. DANNY MEADOW MOUSE FEELS RESPONSIBLE

  XIV. GRANDFATHER FROG HAS A STRANGE RIDE

   XV. GRANDFATHER FROG GIVES UP HOPE

  XVI. THE MERRY LITTLE BREEZES WORK HARD

 XVII. STRIPED CHIPMUNK CUTS THE STRING

XVIII. GRANDFATHER FROG HURRIES AWAY

  XIX. GRANDFATHER FROG JUMPS INTO MORE TROUBLE

   XX. GRANDFATHER FROG LOSES HEART

  XXI. THE MERRY LITTLE BREEZES TRY TO COMFORT GRANDFATHER FROG

 XXII. GRANDFATHER FROG'S TROUBLES GROW

XXIII. THE DEAR OLD SMILING POOL ONCE MORE



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS


"HAVE A NICE NAP?" INQUIRED JERRY, WITH A BROAD GRIN

"THANK YOU," SAID LONGLEGS. "I BELIEVE I HAVE AN ERRAND UP THAT WAY"

AS SOON AS THEY SAW GRANDFATHER FROG, THEY BEGAN TO LAUGH, TOO

"YOU WON'T SEE MUCH OF THE GREAT WORLD IF YOU JUMP LIKE THAT EVERY
TIME YOU GET A SCARE," SAID DANNY

HE SEIZED THE OTHER END OF THE STRING AND BEGAN TO PULL

"THAT'S JUST WHAT I'M AFRAID OF!" CROAKED GRANDFATHER FROG



THE ADVENTURES OF GRANDFATHER FROG



I

BILLY MINK FINDS LITTLE JOE OTTER


Billy Mink ran around the edge of the Smiling Pool and turned down by
the Laughing Brook. His eyes twinkled with mischief, and he hurried as
only Billy can. As he passed Jerry Muskrat's house, Jerry saw him.

"Hi, Billy Mink! Where are you going in such a hurry this fine morning?"
he called.

"To find Little Joe Otter. Have you seen anything of him?" replied
Billy.

"No," said Jerry. "He's probably down to the Big River fishing. I heard
him say last night that he was going."

"Thanks," said Billy Mink, and without waiting to say more he was off
like a little brown flash.

Jerry watched him out of sight. "Hump!" exclaimed Jerry. "Billy Mink is
in a terrible hurry this morning. Now I wonder what he is so anxious to
find Little Joe Otter for. When they get their heads together, it is
usually for some mischief."

Jerry climbed to the top of his house and looked over the Smiling Pool
in the direction from which Billy Mink had just come. Almost at once he
saw Grandfather Frog fast asleep on his big green lily-pad. The legs of
a foolish green fly were sticking out of one corner of his big mouth.
Jerry couldn't help laughing, for Grandfather Frog certainly did look
funny.

"He's had a good breakfast this morning, and his full stomach has made
him sleepy," thought Jerry. "But he's getting careless in his old age.
He certainly is getting careless. The idea of going to sleep right out
in plain sight like that!"

Suddenly a new thought popped into his head. "Billy Mink saw him, and
that is why he is so anxious to find Little Joe Otter. He is planning to
play some trick on Grandfather Frog as sure as pollywogs have tails!"
exclaimed Jerry. Then his eyes began to twinkle as he added: "I think
I'll have some fun myself."

Without another word Jerry slipped down into the water and swam over to
the big green lily-pad of Grandfather Frog. Then he hit the water a
smart blow with his tail. Grandfather Frog's big goggly eyes flew open,
and he was just about to make a frightened plunge into the Smiling Pool
when he saw Jerry.

"Have a nice nap?" inquired Jerry, with a broad grin.

"I wasn't asleep!" protested Grandfather Frog indignantly. "I was just
thinking."

"Don't you think it a rather dangerous plan to think so long with your
eyes closed?" asked Jerry.

"Well, maybe I did just doze off," admitted Grandfather Frog sheepishly.

"Maybe you did," replied Jerry. "Now listen." Then Jerry whispered in
Grandfather Frog's ear, and both chuckled as if they were enjoying some
joke, for they are great friends, you know. Afterward Jerry swam back to
his house, and Grandfather Frog closed his eyes so as to look just as he
did when he was asleep.

Meanwhile Billy Mink had hurried down the Laughing Brook. Half-way to
the Big River he met Little Joe Otter bringing home a big fish, for you
know Little Joe is a great fisherman. Billy Mink hastened to tell him
how Grandfather Frog had fallen fast asleep on his big green lily-pad.

"It's a splendid chance to have some fun with Grandfather Frog and give
him a great scare," concluded Billy.

Little Joe Otter put his fish down and grinned. He likes to play pranks
almost as well as he likes to go fishing.

"What can we do?" said he.

"I've thought of a plan," replied Billy. "Do you happen to know where we
can find Longlegs the Blue Heron?"

"Yes," said Little Joe. "I saw him fishing not five minutes ago."

Then Billy told Little Joe his plan, and laughing and giggling, the two
little scamps hurried off to find Longlegs the Blue Heron.



II

LONGLEGS THE BLUE HERON RECEIVES CALLERS


Longlegs the Blue Heron felt decidedly out of sorts. It was a beautiful
morning, too beautiful for any one to be feeling that way. Indeed, it
was the same beautiful morning in which Grandfather Frog had caught so
many foolish green flies.

Jolly, round, bright Mr. Sun was smiling his broadest. The Merry Little
Breezes of Old Mother West Wind were dancing happily here and there over
the Green Meadows, looking for some good turn to do for others. The
little feathered people to whom Old Mother Nature has given the great
blessing of music in their throats were pouring out their sweetest
songs. So it seemed as if there was no good reason why Longlegs should
feel out of sorts. The fact is the trouble with Longlegs was an empty
stomach. Yes, Sir, that is what ailed Longlegs the Blue Heron that
sunshiny morning. You know it is hard work to be hungry and happy at the
same time.

So Longlegs stood on the edge of a shallow little pool in the Laughing
Brook, grumbling to himself. Just a little while before, he had seen
Little Joe Otter carrying home a big fish, and this had made him
hungrier and more out of sorts than ever. In the first place it made him
envious, and envy, you know, always stirs up bad feelings. He knew
perfectly well that Little Joe had got that fish by boldly chasing it
until he caught it, for Little Joe can swim even faster than a fish. But
Longlegs chose to try to make himself think that it was all luck.
Moreover, he wanted to blame some one for his own lack of success, as
most people who fail do. So when Little Joe had called out: "Hi,
Longlegs, what luck this fine morning?" Longlegs just pretended not to
hear. But when Little Joe was out of sight and hearing, he began to
grumble to himself.

"No wonder I have no luck with that fellow racing up and down the
Laughing Brook," said he. "He isn't content to catch what he wants
himself, but frightens the rest of the fish so that an honest fisherman
like me has no chance at all. I don't see what Old Mother Nature was
thinking of when she gave him a liking for fish. He and Billy Mink are
just two worthless little scamps, born to make trouble for other
people."

He was still grumbling when these two same little scamps poked their
heads out of the grass on the other side of the little pool. "You look
happy, Longlegs. Must be that you have had a good breakfast," said
Little Joe, nudging Billy Mink.

Longlegs snapped his great bill angrily. "What are you doing here,
spoiling my fishing?" he demanded. "Haven't you got the Big River and
all the rest of the Laughing Brook to fool around in? This is my pool,
and I'll thank you to keep away!"

Billy Mink chuckled so that Longlegs heard him, and that didn't improve
his temper a bit. But before he could say anything more, Little Joe
Otter spoke.

"Oh," said he, "we beg your pardon. We just happen to know that
Grandfather Frog is sound asleep, and we thought that if you hadn't had
good luck this morning, you might like to know about it. As long as you
think so ill of us, we'll just run over and tell Blackcap the Night
Heron."

Little Joe turned as if to start off in search of Blackcap at once.
"Hold on a minute!" called Longlegs, and tried to make his voice sound
pleasant, a difficult thing to do, because, you know, his voice is very
harsh and disagreeable. "The truth is, I haven't had a mouthful of
breakfast and to be hungry is apt to make me cross. Where did you say
Grandfather Frog is?"

"I didn't say," replied Little Joe, "but if you really want to know, he
is sitting on his big green lily-pad in the Smiling Pool fast asleep
right in plain sight."

"Thank you," said Longlegs. "I believe I have an errand up that way, now
I think of it. I believe I'll just go over and have a look at him. I
have never seen him asleep."

[Illustration: "Thank you," said Longlegs. "I believe I have an errand
up that way." _Page 10_.]



III

LONGLEGS VISITS THE SMILING POOL


Longlegs the Blue Heron watched Billy Mink and Little Joe Otter
disappear down the Laughing Brook. As long as they were in sight, he sat
without moving, his head drawn down between his shoulders just as if he
had nothing more important to think about than a morning nap. But if you
had been near enough to have seen his keen eyes, you would never have
suspected him of even thinking of a nap. Just as soon as he felt sure
that the two little brown-coated scamps were out of sight, he stretched
his long neck up until he was almost twice as tall as he had been a
minute before. He looked this way and that way to make sure that no
danger was near, spread his great wings, flapped heavily up into the
air, and then, with his head once more tucked back between his shoulders
and his long legs straight out behind him, he flew out over the Green
Meadows, and making a big circle, headed straight for the Smiling Pool.

All this time Billy Mink and Little Joe Otter had not been so far away
as Longlegs supposed. They had been hiding where they could watch him,
and the instant he spread his wings, they started back up the Laughing
Brook towards the Smiling Pool to see what would happen there. You see
they knew perfectly well that Longlegs was flying up to the Smiling Pool
in the hope that he could catch Grandfather Frog for his breakfast. They
didn't really mean that any harm should come to Grandfather Frog, but
they meant that he should have a great fright. You see, they were like a
great many other people, so heedless and thoughtless that they thought
it fun to frighten others.

"Of course we'll waken Grandfather Frog in time for him to get away with
nothing more than a great scare," said Little Joe Otter, as they hurried
along. "It will be such fun to see his big goggly eyes pop out when he
opens them and sees Longlegs just ready to gobble him up! And won't
Longlegs be hopping mad when we cheat him out of the breakfast he is so
sure he is going to have!"

They reached the Smiling Pool before Longlegs, who had taken a
roundabout way, and they hid among the bulrushes where they could see
and not be seen.

"There's the old fellow just as I left him, fast asleep," whispered
Billy Mink.

Sure enough, there on his big green lily-pad sat Grandfather Frog with
his eyes shut. At least, they seemed to be shut. And over on top of his
big house sat Jerry Muskrat. Jerry seemed to be too busy opening a
fresh-water clam to notice anything else; but the truth is he was
watching all that was going on. You see, he had suspected that Billy
Mink was going to play some trick on Grandfather Frog, so he had warned
him. When he had seen Longlegs coming towards the Smiling Pool, he had
given Grandfather Frog another warning, and he knew that now he was only
pretending to be asleep.

Straight up to the Smiling Pool came Longlegs the Blue Heron, and on the
very edge of it, among the bulrushes, he dropped his long legs and stood
with his toes in the water, his long neck stretched up so that he could
look all over the Smiling Pool. There, just as Little Joe Otter had
said, sat Grandfather Frog on his big green lily-pad, fast asleep. At
least, he seemed to be fast asleep. The eyes of Longlegs sparkled with
hunger and the thought of what a splendid breakfast Grandfather Frog
would make. Very slowly, putting each foot down as carefully as he knew
how, Longlegs began to walk along the shore so as to get opposite the
big green lily-pad where Grandfather Frog was sitting. And over in the
bulrushes on the other side, Little Joe Otter and Billy Mink nudged each
other and clapped their hands over their mouths to keep from laughing
aloud.



IV

THE PATIENCE OF LONGLEGS THE BLUE HERON

  Patience often wins the day
  When over-haste has lost the way.


If there is one virtue which Longlegs the Heron possesses above another
it is patience. Yes, Sir, Longlegs certainly has got patience. He
believes that if a thing is worth having, it is worth waiting for, and
that if he waits long enough, he is sure to get it. Perhaps that is
because he has been a fisherman all his life, and his father and his
grandfather were fishermen. You know a fisherman without patience rarely
catches anything. Of course Billy Mink and Little Joe Otter laugh at
this and say that it isn't so, but the truth is they sometimes go
hungry when they wouldn't if they had a little of the patience of
Longlegs.

Now Grandfather Frog is another who is very, very patient. He can sit
still the longest time waiting for something to come to him. Indeed, he
can sit perfectly still so long, and Longlegs can stand perfectly still
so long, that Jerry Muskrat and Billy Mink and Little Joe Otter have had
many long disputes as to which of the two can keep still the longest.

"He will make a splendid breakfast," thought Longlegs, as very, very
carefully he walked along the edge of the Smiling Pool so as to get
right opposite Grandfather Frog. There he stopped and looked very hard
at Grandfather Frog. Yes, he certainly must be asleep, for his eyes were
closed. Longlegs chuckled to himself right down inside without making a
sound, and got ready to wade out so as to get within reach.

Now all the time Grandfather Frog was doing some quiet chuckling
himself. You see, he wasn't asleep at all. He was just pretending to be
asleep, and all the time he was watching Longlegs out of a corner of one
of his big goggly eyes. Very, very slowly and carefully, so as not to
make the teeniest, weeniest sound, Longlegs lifted one foot to wade out
into the Smiling Pool. Grandfather Frog pretended to yawn and opened his
big goggly eyes. Longlegs stood on one foot without moving so much as a
feather. Grandfather Frog yawned again, nodded as if he were too sleepy
to keep awake, and half closed his eyes. Longlegs waited and waited.
Then, little by little, so slowly that if you had been there you would
hardly have seen him move, he drew his long neck down until his head
rested on his shoulders.

"I guess I must wait until he falls sound asleep again," said Longlegs
to himself.

But Grandfather Frog didn't go to sleep. He would nod and nod and then,
just when Longlegs would make up his mind that this time he really was
asleep, open would pop Grandfather Frog's eyes. So all the long morning
Longlegs stood on one foot without moving, watching and waiting and
growing hungrier and hungrier, and all the long morning Grandfather Frog
sat on his big green lily-pad, pretending that he was oh, so sleepy, and
all the time having such a comfortable sun-bath and rest, for very early
he had had a good breakfast of foolish green flies.

Over in the bulrushes on the other side of the Smiling Pool two little
scamps in brown bathing suits waited and watched for the great fright
they had planned for Grandfather Frog, when they had sent Longlegs to
try to catch him. They were Billy Mink and Little Joe Otter. At first
they laughed to themselves and nudged each other at the thought of the
trick they had played. Then, as nothing happened, they began to grow
tired and uneasy. You see they do not possess patience. Finally they
gave up in disgust and stole away to find some more exciting sport.
Grandfather Frog saw them go and chuckled harder than ever to himself.



V

GRANDFATHER FROG JUMPS JUST IN TIME


Back and forth over the Green Meadows sailed Whitetail the Marsh Hawk.
Like Longlegs the Blue Heron, he was hungry. His sharp eyes peered down
among the grasses, looking for something to eat, but some good fairy
seemed to have warned the very little people who live there that
Whitetail was out hunting. Perhaps it was one of Old Mother West Wind's
children, the Merry Little Breezes. You know they are always flitting
about trying to do some one a good turn.

  They love to dance and romp and play
  From dawn to dusk the livelong day,
  But more than this they love to find
    A chance to do some favor kind.

Anyway, little Mr. Green Snake seemed to know that Whitetail was out
hunting and managed to keep out of sight. Danny Meadow Mouse wasn't to
be found. Only a few foolish grasshoppers rewarded his patient search,
and these only served to make him feel hungrier than ever. But old
Whitetail has a great deal of persistence, and in spite of his bad luck,
he kept at his hunting, back and forth, back and forth, until he had
been all over the Green Meadows. At last he made up his mind that he was
wasting time there.

"I'll just have a look over at the Smiling Pool, and if there is nothing
there, I'll take a turn or two along the Big River," thought he and
straightway started for the Smiling Pool. Long before he reached it, his
keen eyes saw Longlegs the Blue Heron standing motionless on the edge of
it, and he knew by the looks of Longlegs that he was watching something
which he hoped to catch.

"If it's a fish," thought Whitetail, "it will do me no good, for I am no
fisherman. But if it's a Frog--well, Frogs are not as good eating as fat
Meadow Mice, but they are very filling."

With that he hurried a little faster, and then he saw what Longlegs was
watching so intently. It was, as you know, Grandfather Frog sitting on
his big green lily-pad. Old Whitetail gave a great sigh of satisfaction.
Grandfather Frog certainly would be very filling, very filling, indeed.

Now Longlegs the Blue Heron was so intently watching Grandfather Frog
that he saw nothing else, and Grandfather Frog was so busy watching
Longlegs that he quite forgot that there might be other dangers.
Besides, his back was toward old Whitetail. Of course Whitetail saw
this, and it made him almost chuckle aloud. Ever so many times he had
tried to catch Grandfather Frog, but always Grandfather Frog had seen
him long before he could get near him.

Now, with all his keen sight, old Whitetail had failed to see some one
else who was sitting right in plain sight. He had failed because his
mind was so full of Grandfather Frog and Longlegs that he forgot to look
around, as he usually does. Just skimming the tops of the bulrushes he
sailed swiftly out over the Smiling Pool and reached down with his
great, cruel claws to clutch Grandfather Frog, who sat there pretending
to be asleep, but all the time watching Longlegs and deep down inside
chuckling to think how he was fooling Longlegs.

Slap! That was the tail of Jerry Muskrat hitting the water. Grandfather
Frog knew what that meant--danger! He didn't know what the danger was,
and he didn't wait to find out. There would be time enough for that
later. When Jerry Muskrat slapped the water with his tail that way,
danger was very near indeed. With a frightened "Chugarum!" Grandfather
Frog dived head first into the Smiling Pool, and so close was old
Whitetail that the water was splashed right in his face. He clutched
frantically with his great claws, but all he got was a piece of the big
green lily-pad on which Grandfather Frog had been sitting, and of course
this was of no use for an empty stomach.

With a scream of disappointment and anger, he whirled in the air and
made straight for Jerry Muskrat. But Jerry just laughed in the most
provoking way and ducked under water.



VI

LONGLEGS AND WHITETAIL QUARREL

  "You did!" "I didn't! I didn't!" "You did!"
  Such a terrible fuss when Grandfather hid!


You see Longlegs the Blue Heron had stood very patiently on one foot all
the long morning waiting for Grandfather Frog to go to sleep on his big
green lily-pad. He had felt sure he was to have Grandfather Frog for his
breakfast and lunch, for he had had no breakfast, and it was now lunch
time. He was so hungry that it seemed to him that the sides of his
stomach certainly would fall in because there was nothing to hold them
up, and then, without any warning at all, old Whitetail the Marsh Hawk
had glided out across the Smiling Pool with his great claws stretched
out to clutch Grandfather Frog, and Grandfather Frog had dived into the
Smiling Pool with a great splash just in the very nick of time.

Now is there anything in the world so hard on the temper as to lose a
good meal when you are very, very, very hungry? Of course Longlegs
didn't really have that good meal, but he had thought that he was surely
going to have it. So when Grandfather Frog splashed into the Smiling
Pool, of course Longlegs lost his temper altogether. His yellow eyes
seemed to grow even more yellow.

"You robber! You thief!" he screamed harshly at old Whitetail.

Now old Whitetail was just as hungry as Longlegs, and he had come even
nearer to catching Grandfather Frog. He is even quicker tempered than
Longlegs. He had whirled like a flash on Jerry Muskrat, but Jerry had
just laughed in the most provoking manner and ducked under water. This
had made old Whitetail angrier than ever, and then to be called bad
names--robber and thief! It was more than any self-respecting Hawk could
stand. Yes, Sir, it certainly was! He fairly shook with rage as he
turned in the air once more and made straight for Longlegs the Blue
Heron.

"I'm no more robber and thief than you are!" he shrieked.

"You frightened away my Frog!" screamed Longlegs.

"I didn't!"

"You did!"

"I didn't! It wasn't your Frog; it was mine!"

"Chugarum!" said Grandfather Frog to Jerry Muskrat, as they peeped out
from under some lily-pads. "I didn't know I belonged to anybody. I
really didn't. Did you?"

"No," replied Jerry, his eyes sparkling with excitement as he watched
Longlegs and Whitetail, "it's news to me."

"You're too lazy to hunt like honest people!" taunted old Whitetail, as
he wheeled around Longlegs, watching for a chance to strike with his
great, cruel claws.

"I'm too honest to take the food out of other people's mouths!" retorted
Longlegs, dancing around so as always to face Whitetail, one of his
great, broad wings held in front of him like a shield, and his long,
strong bill ready to strike.

Every feather on Whitetail's head was standing erect with rage, and he
looked very fierce and terrible. At last he saw a chance, or thought he
did, and shot down. But all he got was a feather from that great wing
which Longlegs kept in front of him, and before he could get away, that
long bill had struck him twice, so that he screamed with pain. So they
fought and fought, till the ground was covered with feathers, and they
were too tired to fight any longer. Then, slowly and painfully, old
Whitetail flew away over the Green Meadows, and with torn and ragged
wings, Longlegs flew heavily down the Laughing Brook towards the Big
River, and both were sore and stiff and still hungry.

"Dear me! Dear me! What a terrible thing and how useless anger is," said
Grandfather Frog, as he climbed back on his big green lily-pad in the
warm sunshine.



VII

GRANDFATHER FROG'S BIG MOUTH GETS HIM IN TROUBLE


Grandfather Frog has a great big mouth. You know that. Everybody does.
His friends of the Smiling Pool, the Laughing Brook, and the Green
Meadows have teased Grandfather Frog a great deal about the size of his
mouth, but he hasn't minded in the least, not the very least. You see,
he learned a long time ago that a big mouth is very handy for catching
foolish green flies, especially when two happen to come along together.
So he is rather proud of his big mouth, just as he is of his goggly
eyes.

But once in a while his big mouth gets him into trouble. It's a way big
mouths have. It holds so much that it makes him greedy sometimes. He
stuffs it full after his stomach already has all that it can hold, and
then of course he can't swallow. Then Grandfather Frog looks very
foolish and silly and undignified, and everybody calls him a greedy
fellow who is old enough to know better and who ought to be ashamed of
himself. Perhaps he is, but he never says so, and he is almost sure to
do the same thing over again the first chance he has.

Now it happened that one morning when Grandfather Frog had had a very
good breakfast of foolish green flies and really didn't need another
single thing to eat, who should come along but Little Joe Otter, who had
been down to the Big River fishing. He had eaten all he could hold, and
he was taking the rest of his catch to a secret hiding-place up the
Laughing Brook.

Now Grandfather Frog is very fond of fish for a change, and when he saw
those that Little Joe Otter had, his eyes glistened, and in spite of his
full stomach his mouth watered.

"Good morning, Grandfather Frog! Have you had your breakfast yet?"
called Little Joe Otter.

Grandfather Frog wanted to say no, but he always tells the truth.
"Ye-e-s," he replied. "I've had my breakfast, such as it was. Why do you
ask?"

"Oh, for no reason in particular. I just thought that if you hadn't, you
might like a fish. But as long as you have breakfasted, of course you
don't want one," said Little Joe, his bright eyes beginning to twinkle.
He held the fish out so that Grandfather Frog could see just how plump
and nice they were.

"Chugarum!" exclaimed Grandfather Frog. "Those certainly are very nice
fish, very nice fish indeed. It is very nice of you to think of a poor
old fellow like me, and I--er--well, I might find room for just a little
teeny, weeny one, if you can spare it."

Little Joe Otter knows all about Grandfather Frog's greediness. He
looked at Grandfather Frog's white and yellow waistcoat and saw how it
was already stuffed full to bursting. The twinkle in his eyes grew more
mischievous than ever as he said: "Of course I can. But I wouldn't think
of giving such an old friend a teeny, weeny one."

With that, Little Joe picked out the biggest fish he had and tossed it
over to Grandfather Frog. It landed close by his nose with a great
splash, and it was almost half as big as Grandfather Frog himself. It
was plump and looked so tempting that Grandfather Frog forgot all about
his full stomach. He even forgot to be polite and thank Little Joe
Otter. He just opened his great mouth and seized the fish. Yes, Sir,
that is just what he did. Almost before you could wink an eye, the fish
had started down Grandfather Frog's throat head first.

Now you know Grandfather Frog has no teeth, and so he cannot bite things
in two. He has to swallow them whole. That is just what he started to do
with the fish. It went all right until the head reached his stomach. But
you can't put anything more into a thing already full, and Grandfather
Frog's stomach was packed as full as it could be of foolish green flies.
There the fish stuck, and gulp and swallow as hard as he could,
Grandfather Frog couldn't make that fish go a bit farther. Then he tried
to get it out again, but it had gone so far down his throat that he
couldn't get it back. Grandfather Frog began to choke.



VIII

SPOTTY THE TURTLE PLAYS DOCTOR

  Greed's a dreadful thing to see,
  As everybody will agree.


At first Little Joe Otter, sitting on the bank of the Smiling Pool,
laughed himself almost sick as he watched Grandfather Frog trying to
swallow a fish almost as big as himself, when his white and yellow
waistcoat was already stuffed so full of foolish green flies that there
wasn't room for anything more. Such greed would have been disgusting, if
it hadn't been so very, very funny. At least, it was funny at first, for
the fish had stuck, with the tail hanging out of Grandfather Frog's big
mouth. Grandfather Frog hitched this way and hitched that way on his
big green lily-pad, trying his best to swallow. Twice he tumbled off
with a splash into the Smiling Pool. Each time he scrambled back again
and rolled his great goggly eyes in silent appeal to Little Joe Otter to
come to his aid.

[Illustration: As soon as they saw Grandfather Frog, they began to
laugh, too. _Page 37._]

But Little Joe was laughing so that he had to hold his sides, and he
didn't understand that Grandfather Frog really was in trouble. Billy
Mink and Jerry Muskrat came along, and as soon as they saw Grandfather
Frog, they began to laugh, too. They just laughed and laughed and
laughed until the tears came. They rolled over and over on the bank and
kicked their heels from sheer enjoyment. It was the funniest thing they
had seen for a long, long time.

"Did you ever see such greed?" gasped Billy Mink.

"Why don't you pull it out and start over again?" shouted Little Joe
Otter.

Now this is just what Grandfather Frog was trying to do. At least, he
was trying to pull the fish out. He hadn't the least desire in the world
to try swallowing it again. In fact, he felt just then as if he never,
never wanted to see another fish so long as he lived. But Grandfather
Frog's hands are not made for grasping slippery things, and the tail of
a fish is very slippery indeed. He tried first with one hand, then with
the other, and at last with both. It was of no use at all. He just
couldn't budge that fish. He couldn't cough it up, because it had gone
too far down for that. The more he clawed at that waving tail with his
hands, the funnier he looked, and the harder Little Joe Otter and Billy
Mink and Jerry Muskrat laughed. They made such a noise that Spotty the
Turtle, who had been taking a sun-bath on the end of an old log, slipped
into the water and started to see what it was all about.

Now Spotty the Turtle is very, very slow on land, but he is a good
swimmer. He hurried now because he didn't want to miss the fun. At first
he didn't see Grandfather Frog.

"What's the joke?" he asked.

Little Joe Otter simply pointed to Grandfather Frog. Little Joe had
laughed so much that he couldn't even speak. Spotty looked over to the
big green lily-pad and started to laugh too. Then he saw great tears
rolling down from Grandfather Frog's eyes and heard little choky sounds.
He stopped laughing and started for Grandfather Frog as fast as he could
swim. He climbed right up on the big green lily-pad, and reaching out,
grabbed the end of the fish tail in his beak-like mouth. Then Spotty
the Turtle settled back and pulled, and Grandfather Frog settled back
and pulled. Splash! Grandfather Frog had fallen backward into the
Smiling Pool on one side of the big green lily-pad. Splash! Spotty the
Turtle had fallen backward into the Smiling Pool on the opposite side of
the big green lily-pad. And the fish which had caused all the trouble
lay floating on the water.

"Thank you! Thank you!" gasped Grandfather Frog, as he feebly crawled
back on the lily-pad. "A minute more, and I would have choked to death."

"Don't mention it," replied Spotty the Turtle.

"I never, never will," promised Grandfather Frog.



IX

OLD MR. TOAD VISITS GRANDFATHER FROG


Grandfather Frog and old Mr. Toad are cousins. Of course you know that
without being told. Everybody does. But not everybody knows that they
were born in the same place. They were. Yes, Sir, they were. They were
born in the Smiling Pool. Both had long tails and for a while no legs,
and they played and swam together without ever going on shore. In fact,
when they were babies, they couldn't live out of the water. And people
who saw them didn't know the difference between them and called them by
the same names--tadpoles or pollywogs. But when they grew old enough to
have legs and get along without tails, they parted company.

You see, it was this way: Grandfather Frog (of course he wasn't
grandfather then) loved the Smiling Pool so well that he couldn't think
of leaving it. He heard all about the Great World and what a wonderful
place it was, but he couldn't and wouldn't believe that there could be
any nicer place than the Smiling Pool, and so he made up his mind that
he would live there always.

But Mr. Toad could hardly wait to get rid of his tail before turning his
back on the Smiling Pool and starting out to see the Great World.
Nothing that Grandfather Frog could say would stop him, and away Mr.
Toad went, when he was so small that he could hide under a clover leaf.
Grandfather Frog didn't expect ever to see him again. But he did,
though it wasn't for a long, long time. And when he did come back, he
had grown so that Grandfather Frog hardly knew him at first. And right
then and there began a dispute which they have kept up ever since:
whether it was best to go out into the Great World or remain in the home
of childhood. Each was sure that what he had done was best, and each is
sure of it to this day.

So whenever old Mr. Toad visits Grandfather Frog, as he does every once
in a while, they are sure to argue and argue on this same old subject.
It was so on the day that Grandfather Frog had so nearly choked to
death. Old Mr. Toad had heard about it from one of the Merry Little
Breezes of Old Mother West Wind and right away had started for the
Smiling Pool to pay his respects to Grandfather Frog, and to tell him
how glad he was that Spotty the Turtle had come along just in time to
pull the fish out of Grandfather Frog's throat.

Now all day long Grandfather Frog had had to listen to unpleasant
remarks about his greediness. It was such a splendid chance to tease him
that everybody around the Smiling Pool took advantage of it. Grandfather
Frog took it good-naturedly at first, but after a while it made him
cross, and by the time his cousin, old Mr. Toad, arrived, he was sulky
and just grunted when Mr. Toad told him how glad he was to find
Grandfather Frog quite recovered.

Old Mr. Toad pretended not to notice how out of sorts Grandfather Frog
was but kept right on talking.

"If you had been out in the Great World as much as I have been, you
would have known that Little Joe Otter wasn't giving you that fish for
nothing," said he.

Grandfather Frog swelled right out with anger. "Chugarum!" he exclaimed
in his deepest, gruffest voice. "Chugarum! Go back to your Great World
and learn to mind your own affairs, Mr. Toad."

Right away old Mr. Toad began to swell with anger too. For a whole
minute he glared at Grandfather Frog, so indignant he couldn't find his
tongue. When he did find it, he said some very unpleasant things, and
right away they began to dispute.

"What good are you to anybody but yourself, never seeing anything of the
Great World and not knowing anything about what is going on or what
other people are doing?" asked old Mr. Toad.

"I'm minding my own affairs and not meddling with things that don't
concern me, as seems to be the way out in the Great World you are so
fond of talking about," retorted Grandfather Frog. "Wise people know
enough to be content with what they have. You've been out in the Great
World ever since you could hop, and what good has it done you? Tell me
that! You haven't even a decent suit of clothes to your back."
Grandfather Frog patted his white and yellow waistcoat as he spoke and
looked admiringly at the reflection of his handsome green coat in the
Smiling Pool.

Old Mr. Toad's eyes snapped, for you know his suit is very plain and
rough.

"People who do honest work for their living have no time to sit about in
fine clothes admiring themselves," he replied sharply. "I've learned
this much out in the Great World, that lazy people come to no good end,
and I know enough not to choke myself to death."

Grandfather Frog almost choked again, he was so angry. You see old Mr.
Toad's remarks were very personal, and nobody likes personal remarks
when they are unpleasant, especially if they happen to be true.
Grandfather Frog was trying his best to think of something sharp to say
in reply, when Mr. Redwing, sitting in the top of the big hickory-tree,
shouted: "Here comes Farmer Brown's boy!"

Grandfather Frog forgot his anger and began to look anxious. He moved
about uneasily on his big green lily-pad and got ready to dive into the
Smiling Pool, for he was afraid that Farmer Brown's boy had a pocketful
of stones as he usually did have when he came over to the Smiling Pool.

Old Mr. Toad didn't look troubled the least bit. He didn't even look
around for a hiding-place. He just sat still and grinned.

"You'd better watch out, or you'll never visit the Smiling Pool again,"
called Grandfather Frog.

"Oh," replied old Mr. Toad, "I'm not afraid. Farmer Brown's boy is a
friend of mine. I help him in his garden. How to make friends is one of
the things the Great World has taught me."

"Chugarum!" said Grandfather Frog. "I'd have you to know that--"

But what it was that he was to know old Mr. Toad never found out, for
just then Grandfather Frog caught sight of Farmer Brown's boy and
without waiting even to say good-by he dived into the Smiling Pool.



X

GRANDFATHER FROG STARTS OUT TO SEE THE GREAT WORLD


Grandfather Frog looked very solemn as he sat on his big green lily-pad
in the Smiling Pool. He looked very much as if he had something on his
mind. A foolish green fly actually brushed Grandfather Frog's nose and
he didn't even notice it. The fact is he did have something on his mind.
It had been there ever since his cousin, old Mr. Toad, had called the
day before and they had quarreled as usual over the question whether it
was best never to leave home or to go out into the Great World.

Right in the midst of their quarrel along had come Farmer Brown's boy.
Now Grandfather Frog is afraid of Farmer Brown's boy, so when he
appeared, Grandfather Frog stopped arguing with old Mr. Toad and with a
great splash dived into the Smiling Pool and hid under a lily-pad. There
he stayed and watched his cousin, old Mr. Toad, grinning in the most
provoking way, for he wasn't afraid of Farmer Brown's boy. In fact, he
had boasted that they were friends. Grandfather Frog had thought that
this was just an idle boast, but when he saw Farmer Brown's boy tickle
old Mr. Toad under his chin with a straw, while Mr. Toad sat perfectly
still and seemed to enjoy it, he knew that it was true.

Grandfather Frog had not come out of his hiding-place until after old
Mr. Toad had gone back across the Green Meadows and Farmer Brown's boy
had gone home for his supper. Then Grandfather Frog had climbed back on
his big green lily-pad and had sat there half the night without once
leading the chorus of the Smiling Pool with his great deep bass voice as
he usually did. He was thinking, thinking very hard. And now, this
bright, sunshiny morning, he was still thinking.

The fact is Grandfather Frog was beginning to wonder if perhaps, after
all, Mr. Toad was right. If the Great World had taught him how to make
friends with Farmer Brown's boy, there really must be some things worth
learning there. Not for the world would Grandfather Frog have admitted
to old Mr. Toad or to any one else that there was anything for him to
learn, for you know he is very old and by his friends is accounted very
wise. But right down in his heart he was beginning to think that perhaps
there were some things which he couldn't learn in the Smiling Pool. So
he sat and thought and thought. Suddenly he made up his mind.

"Chugarum!" said he. "I'll do it!"

"Do what?" asked Jerry Muskrat, who happened to be swimming past.

"I'll go out and see for myself what this Great World my cousin, old Mr.
Toad, is so fond of talking about is like," replied Grandfather Frog.

"Don't you do it," advised Jerry Muskrat. "Don't you do anything so
foolish as that. You're too old, much too old, Grandfather Frog, to go
out into the Great World."

Now few old people like to be told that they are too old to do what they
please, and Grandfather Frog is no different from others. "You just mind
your own affairs, Jerry Muskrat," he retorted sharply. "I guess I know
what is best for me without being told. If my cousin, old Mr. Toad, can
take care of himself out in the Great World, I can. He isn't half so
spry as I am. I'm going, and that is all there is about it!"

With that Grandfather Frog dived into the Smiling Pool, swam across to a
place where the bank was low, and without once looking back started
across the Green Meadows to see the Great World.



XI

GRANDFATHER FROG IS STUBBORN

  "Fee, fi, fe, fum!
  Chug, chug, chugarum!"


Grandfather actually had started out to see the Great World. Yes, Sir,
he had turned his back on the Smiling Pool, and nothing that Jerry
Muskrat could say made the least bit of difference. Grandfather Frog had
made up his mind, and when he does that, it is just a waste of time and
breath for any one to try to make him change it. You see Grandfather
Frog is stubborn. Yes, that is just the word--stubborn. He would see for
himself what this Great World was that his cousin, old Mr. Toad, talked
so much about and said was so much better than the Smiling Pool where
Grandfather Frog had spent his whole life.

"If old Mr. Toad can take care of himself, I can take care of myself out
in the Great World," said Grandfather Frog, to himself as, with great
jumps, he started out on to the Green Meadows. "I guess he isn't any
smarter than I am! He isn't half so spry as I am, and I can jump three
times as far as he can. I'll see for myself what this Great World is
like, and then I'll go back to the Smiling Pool and stay there the rest
of my life. Chugarum, how warm it is!"

It was warm. Jolly, round, bright Mr. Sun was smiling his broadest and
pouring his warmest rays down on the Green Meadows. The Merry Little
Breezes of Old Mother West Wind were taking a nap. You see, they had
played so hard early in the morning that they were tired. So there was
nobody and nothing to cool Grandfather Frog, and he just grew warmer and
warmer with every jump. He began to grow thirsty, and how he did long
for a plunge in the dear, cool Smiling Pool! But he was stubborn. He
wouldn't turn back, no matter how uncomfortable he felt. He _would_ see
the Great World if it killed him. So he kept right on, jump, jump, jump,
jump.

Grandfather Frog had been up the Laughing Brook and down the Laughing
Brook, where he could swim when he grew tired of traveling on the bank,
and where he could cool off whenever he became too warm, but never
before had he been very far away from water, and he found this a very
different matter. At first he had made great jumps, for that is what his
long legs were given him for; but the long grass bothered him, and after
a little the jumps grew shorter and shorter and shorter, and with every
jump he puffed and puffed and presently began to grunt. You see he never
before had made more than a few jumps at a time without resting, and his
legs grew tired in a very little while.

Now if Grandfather Frog had known as much about the Green Meadows as the
little people who live there all the time do, he would have taken the
Lone Little Path, where the going was easy. But he didn't. He just
started right out without knowing where he was going, and of course the
way was hard, very hard indeed. The grass was so tall that he couldn't
see over it, and the ground was so rough that it hurt his tender feet,
which were used to the soft, mossy bank of the Smiling Pool. He had gone
only a little way before he wished with all his might that he had never
thought of seeing the Great World. But he had said that he was going to
and he would, so he kept right on--jump, jump, rest, jump, jump, jump,
rest, jump, and then a long rest.

It was during one of these rests that he heard footsteps, and then a
dreadful sound that made cold chills run all over him. Sniff, sniff,
sniff! It was coming nearer. Grandfather Frog flattened himself down as
close to the ground as he could get. But it was of no use, no use at
all. The sniffing came nearer and nearer, and then right over him stood
Bowser the Hound! Bowser looked just as surprised as he felt. He put out
one paw and turned Grandfather Frog over on his back. Grandfather Frog
struggled to his feet and made two frightened jumps.

"Bow, wow!" cried Bowser and rolled him over again. Bowser thought it
great fun, but Grandfather Frog thought that his last day had come.



XII

GRANDFATHER FROG KEEPS ON

  Grandfather Frog is old and wise,
    But even age is foolish.
  I'm sure you'll all agree with me
    His stubbornness was mulish.


That his very last day had come Grandfather Frog was sure. He didn't
have the least doubt about it. Here he was at the mercy of Bowser the
Hound out on the Green Meadows far from the dear, safe Smiling Pool.
Every time he moved, Bowser flipped him over on his back and danced
around him, barking with joy. Every minute Grandfather Frog expected to
feel Bowser's terrible teeth, and he grew cold at the thought. When he
found that he couldn't get away, he just lay still. He was too tired
and frightened to do much of anything else, anyway.

Now when he lay still, he spoiled Bowser's fun, for it was seeing him
jump and kick his long legs that tickled Bowser so. Bowser tossed him up
in the air two or three times, but Grandfather Frog simply lay where he
fell without moving.

"Bow, wow, wow!" cried Bowser, in his great deep voice. Grandfather Frog
didn't so much as blink his great goggly eyes. Bowser sniffed him all
over.

"I guess I've frightened him to death," said Bowser, talking to himself.
"I didn't mean to do that. I just wanted to have some fun with him."
With that, Bowser took one more sniff and then trotted off to try to
find something more exciting. You see, he hadn't had the least intention
in the world of really hurting Grandfather Frog.

Grandfather Frog kept perfectly still until he was sure that Bowser was
nowhere near. Then he gave a great sigh of relief and crawled under a
big mullein leaf to rest, and think things over.

"Chugarum, that was a terrible experience; it was, indeed!" said he to
himself, shivering at the very thought of what he had been through.
"Nothing like that ever happened to me in the Smiling Pool. I've always
said that the Smiling Pool is a better place in which to live than is
the Great World, and now I know it. The question is, what had I best do
now?"

Now right down in his heart Grandfather Frog knew the answer. Of course
the best thing to do was to go straight back to the Smiling Pool as fast
as he could. But Grandfather Frog is stubborn. Yes, Sir, he certainly is
stubborn. And stubbornness is often just another name for foolishness.
He had told Jerry Muskrat that he was going out to see the Great World.
Now if he went back, Jerry would laugh at him.

"I won't!" said Grandfather Frog.

"What won't you do?" asked a voice so close to him that Grandfather Frog
made a long jump before he thought. You see, at the Smiling Pool he
always jumped at the least hint of danger, and because one jump always
took him into the water, he was always safe. But there was no water
here, and that jump took him right out where anybody passing could see
him. Then he turned around to see who had startled him so. It was Danny
Meadow Mouse.

"I won't go back to the Smiling Pool until I have seen the Great World,"
replied Grandfather Frog gruffly.

[Illustration: "You won't see much of the Great World if you jump like
that every time you get a scare," said Danny. _Page 62._]

"You won't see much of the Great World if you jump like that every time
you get a scare," said Danny, shaking his head. "No, Sir, you won't see
much of the Great World, because one of these times you'll jump right
into the claws of old Whitetail the Marsh Hawk, or his cousin Redtail,
or Reddy Fox. You take my advice, Grandfather Frog, and go straight back
to the Smiling Pool. You don't know enough about the Great World to take
care of yourself."

But Grandfather Frog was set in his ways, and nothing that Danny Meadow
Mouse could say changed his mind in the least. "I started out to see the
Great World, and I'm going to keep right on," said he.

"All right," said Danny at last. "If you will, I suppose you will. I'll
go a little way with you just to get you started right."

"Thank you," replied Grandfather Frog. "Let's start right away."



XIII

DANNY MEADOW MOUSE FEELS RESPONSIBLE


Responsible is a great big word. But it is just as big in its meaning as
it is in its looks, and that is the way words should be, I think, don't
you? Anyway, re-spon-sible is the way Danny Meadow Mouse felt when he
found Grandfather Frog out on the Green Meadows so far from the Smiling
Pool and so stubborn that he would keep on to see the Great World
instead of going back to his big green lily-pad in the Smiling Pool,
where he could take care of himself. You remember Peter Rabbit felt
re-spon-sible when he brought little Miss Fuzzy tail down from the Old
Pasture to the dear Old Briar-patch. He felt that it was his business
to see to it that no harm came to her, and that is just the way Danny
Meadow Mouse felt about Grandfather Frog.

You see, Danny knew that if Grandfather Frog was going to jump like that
every time he was frightened, he wouldn't get very far in the Great
World. It might be the right thing to do in the Smiling Pool, where the
friendly water would hide him from his enemies, but it was just the
wrong thing to do on the Green Meadows or in the Green Forest. Danny had
learned, when a very tiny fellow, that there the only safe thing to do
when danger was near was to sit perfectly still and hardly breathe.

Now Danny Meadow Mouse is fond of Grandfather Frog, and he couldn't bear
to think that something dreadful might happen to him. So when he found
that he couldn't get Grandfather Frog to go back to the Smiling Pool, he
made up his mind that he just _had_ to go along with Grandfather Frog to
try to keep him out of danger. Yes, Sir, he just _had_ to do it. He felt
re-spon-sible for Grandfather Frog's safety. So here they were, Danny
Meadow Mouse running ahead, anxious and worried and watching sharply for
signs of danger, and Grandfather Frog puffing along behind, bound to see
the Great World which his cousin, old Mr. Toad, said was a better place
to live in than the Smiling Pool.

Now Danny has a great many private little paths under the grass all over
the Green Meadows, and along these he can scamper ever so fast without
once showing himself to those who may be looking for him. Of course he
started to take Grandfather Frog along one of these little paths. But
Grandfather Frog doesn't walk or run; he jumps. There wasn't room in
Danny's little paths for jumping, as they soon found out. Grandfather
Frog simply couldn't follow Danny along those little paths. Danny sat
down to think, and puckered his brows anxiously. He was more worried
than ever. It was very clear that Grandfather Frog would have to travel
out in the open, where there was room for him to jump, and where also he
would be right out in plain sight of all who happened along. Once more
Danny urged him to go back to the Smiling Pool, but he might just as
well have talked to a stick or a stone. Grandfather Frog had started out
to see the Great World, and he was going to see it.

Danny sighed. "If you will, you will, I suppose," said he, "and I guess
the only place you can travel in any comfort is the Lone Little Path.
It is dangerous, very dangerous, but I guess you will have to do it."

"Chugarum!" replied Grandfather Frog, "I'm not afraid. You show me the
Lone Little Path and then go about your business, Danny Meadow Mouse."

So Danny led the way to the Lone Little Path, and Grandfather Frog
sighed with relief, for here he could jump without getting all tangled
up in long grass and without hurting his tender feet on sharp stubble
where the grass had been cut. But Danny felt more worried than ever. He
wouldn't leave Grandfather Frog because, you know, he felt re-spon-sible
for him, and at the same time he was terribly afraid, for he felt sure
that some of their enemies would see them. He wanted to go back, but he
kept right on, and that shows just what a brave little fellow Danny
Meadow Mouse was.



XIV

GRANDFATHER FROG HAS A STRANGE RIDE

  A thousand things may happen to,
    Ten thousand things befall,
  The traveler who careless is,
    Or thinks he knows it all.


Grandfather Frog, jumping along behind Danny Meadow Mouse up the Lone
Little Path, was beginning to think that Danny was the most timid and
easiest frightened of all the little meadow people of his acquaintance.
Danny kept as much under the grass that overhung the Lone Little Path as
he could. When there were perfectly bare places, Danny looked this way
and looked that way anxiously and then scampered across as fast as he
could make his little legs go. When he was safely across, he would wait
for Grandfather Frog. If a shadow passed over the grass, Danny would
duck under the nearest leaf and hold his breath.

"Foolish!" muttered Grandfather Frog. "Foolish, foolish to be so afraid!
Now, I'm not afraid until I see something to be afraid of. Time enough
then. What's the good of looking for trouble all the time? Now, here I
am out in the Great World, and I'm not afraid. And here's Danny Meadow
Mouse, who has lived here all his life, acting as if he expected
something dreadful to happen any minute. Pooh! How very, very foolish!"

Now Grandfather Frog is old and in the Smiling Pool he is accounted
very, very wise. But the wisest sometimes become foolish when they think
that they know all there is to know. It was so with Grandfather Frog.
It was he who was foolish and not Danny Meadow Mouse. You see Danny knew
all the dangers on the Green Meadows, and how many sharp eyes were all
the time watching for him. He had long ago learned that the only way to
feel safe was to feel afraid. You see, then he was watching for danger
every minute, and so he wasn't likely to be surprised by his hungry
enemies.

So while Grandfather Frog was looking down on Danny for being so timid,
Danny was really doing the wisest thing. More than that, he was really
very, very brave. He was showing Grandfather Frog the way up the Lone
Little Path to see the Great World, when he himself would never, never
have thought of traveling anywhere but along his own secret little
paths, just because Grandfather Frog couldn't jump anywhere excepting
where the way was fairly clear, as in the Lone Little Path, and Danny
was afraid that unless Grandfather Frog had some one with him to watch
out for him, he would surely come to a sad end.

The farther they went with nothing happening, the more foolish Danny's
timid way of running and hiding seemed to Grandfather Frog, and he was
just about to tell Danny just what he thought, when Danny dived into the
long grass and warned Grandfather Frog to do the same. But Grandfather
Frog didn't.

"Chugarum!" said he, "I don't see anything to be afraid of, and I'm not
going to hide until I do."

So he sat still right where he was, in the middle of the Lone Little
Path, looking this way and that way, and seeing nothing to be afraid of.
And just then around a turn in the Lone Little Path came--who do you
think? Why Farmer Brown's boy! He saw Grandfather Frog and with a whoop
of joy he sprang for him. Grandfather Frog gave a frightened croak and
jumped, but he was too late. Before he could jump again Farmer Brown's
boy had him by his long hind-legs.

"Ha, ha!" shouted Farmer Brown's boy, "I believe this is the very old
chap I have tried so often to catch in the Smiling Pool. These legs of
yours will be mighty fine eating, Mr. Frog. They will, indeed."

With that he tied Grandfather Frog's legs together and went on his way
across the Green Meadows with poor old Grandfather Frog dangling from
the end of a string. It was a strange ride and a most uncomfortable one,
and with all his might Grandfather Frog wished he had never thought of
going out into the Great World.



XV

GRANDFATHER FROG GIVES UP HOPE


With his legs tied together, hanging head down from the end of a string,
Grandfather Frog was being carried he knew not where by Farmer Brown's
boy. It was dreadful. Half-way across the Green Meadows the Merry Little
Breezes of Old Mother West Wind came dancing along. At first they didn't
see Grandfather Frog, but presently one of them, rushing up to tease
Farmer Brown's boy by blowing off his hat, caught sight of Grandfather
Frog.

Now the Merry Little Breezes are great friends of Grandfather Frog.
Many, many times they have blown foolish green flies over to him as he
sat on his big green lily-pad, and they are very fond of him. So when
this one caught sight of him in such a dreadful position, he forgot all
about teasing Farmer Brown's boy. He raced away to tell the other Merry
Little Breezes. For a minute they were perfectly still. They forgot all
about being merry.

"It's awful, just perfectly awful!" cried one.

"We must do something to help Grandfather Frog!" cried another.

"Of course we must," said a third.

"But what can we do?" asked a fourth.

Nobody replied. They just thought and thought and thought. Finally the
first one spoke. "We might try to comfort him a little," said he.

"Of course we will do that!" they shouted all together.

"And if we throw dust in the face of Farmer Brown's boy and steal his
hat, perhaps he will put Grandfather Frog down," continued the Merry
Little Breeze.

"The very thing!" the others cried, dancing about with excitement.

"Then we can rush about and tell all Grandfather Frog's friends what has
happened to him and where he is. Perhaps some of them can help us," the
Little Breeze continued.

They wasted no more time talking, but raced after Farmer Brown's boy as
fast as they could go. One of them, who was faster than the others, ran
ahead and whispered in Grandfather Frog's ear that they were coming to
help him. But poor old Grandfather Frog couldn't be comforted. He
couldn't see what there was that the Merry Little Breezes could do. His
legs smarted where the string cut into the skin, and his head ached,
for you know he was hanging head down. No, Sir, Grandfather Frog
couldn't be comforted. He was in a terrible fix, and he couldn't see any
way out of it. He hadn't the least bit of hope left. And all the time
Farmer Brown's boy was trudging along, whistling merrily. You see, it
didn't occur to him to think how Grandfather Frog must be suffering and
how terribly frightened he must be. He wasn't cruel. No, indeed, Farmer
Brown's boy wasn't cruel. That is, he didn't mean to be cruel. He was
just thoughtless, like a great many other boys, and girls too.

So he went whistling on his way until he reached the Long Lane leading
from the Green Meadows up to Farmer Brown's dooryard. No sooner was he
in the Long Lane than something happened. A great cloud of dust and
leaves and tiny sticks was dashed in his face and nearly choked him.
Dirt got in his eyes. His hat was snatched from his head and went
sailing over into the garden. He dropped Grandfather Frog and felt for
his handkerchief to wipe the dirt from his eyes.

"Phew!" exclaimed Farmer Brown's boy, as he started after his hat. "It's
funny where that wind came from so suddenly!"

But you know and I know that it was the Merry Little Breezes working
together who made up that sudden wind. And Grandfather Frog ought to
have known it too, but he didn't. You see the dust had got in his nose
and eyes just as it had in those of Farmer Brown's boy, and he was so
frightened and confused that he couldn't think. So he lay just where
Farmer Brown's boy dropped him, and he didn't have any more hope than
before.



XVI

THE MERRY LITTLE BREEZES WORK HARD


The Merry Little Breezes almost shouted aloud with delight when they saw
Farmer Brown's boy drop Grandfather Frog to feel for his handkerchief
and wipe out the dust which they had thrown in his eyes. Then he had to
climb the fence and chase his hat through the garden. They would let him
almost get his hands on it and then, just as he thought that he surely
had it, they would snatch it away. It was great fun for the Merry Little
Breezes. But they were not doing it for fun. No, indeed, they were not
doing it for fun! They were doing it to lead Farmer Brown's boy away
from Grandfather Frog.

Just as soon as they dared, they dropped the hat and then separated and
rushed away in all directions across the Green Meadows, over to the
Green Forest, and down to the Smiling Pool. What were they going for?
Why, to hunt for some of Grandfather Frog's friends and ask their help.
You see, the Merry Little Breezes could make Farmer Brown's boy drop
Grandfather Frog, but they couldn't untie a knot or cut a string, and
this is just what had got to be done to set Grandfather Frog free, for
his hind-legs were tied together. So now they were looking for some one
with sharp teeth, who thought enough of Grandfather Frog to come and
help him.

One thought of Striped Chipmunk and started for the old stone wall to
look for him. Another went in search of Danny Meadow Mouse. A third
headed for the dear Old Briar-patch after Peter Rabbit. A fourth
remembered Jimmy Skunk and how he had once set Blacky the Crow free from
a snare. A fifth remembered what sharp teeth Happy Jack Squirrel has and
hurried over to the Green Forest to look for him. A sixth started
straight for the Smiling Pool to tell Jerry Muskrat. And every one of
them raced as fast as he could.

All this time Grandfather Frog was without hope. Yes, Sir, poor old
Grandfather Frog was wholly in despair. You see, he didn't know what the
Merry Little Breezes were trying to do, and he was so frightened and
confused that he couldn't think. When Farmer Brown's boy dropped him, he
lay right where he fell for a few minutes. Then, right close at hand, he
saw an old board. Without really thinking, he tried to get to it, for
there looked as if there might be room for him to hide under it. It was
hard work, for you know his long hind-legs, which he uses for jumping,
were tied together. The best he could do was to crawl and wriggle and
pull himself along. Just as Farmer Brown's boy started to climb the
fence back into the Long Lane, his hat in his hand, Grandfather Frog
reached the old board and crawled under it.

Now when the Merry Little Breezes had thrown the dust in Farmer Brown's
boy's face and snatched his hat, he had dropped Grandfather Frog in such
a hurry that he didn't notice just where he did drop him, so now he
didn't know the exact place to look for him. But he knew pretty near,
and he hadn't the least doubt but that he would find him. He had just
started to look when the dinner horn sounded. Farmer Brown's boy
hesitated. He was hungry. If he was late, he might lose his dinner. He
could come back later to look for Grandfather Frog, for with his legs
tied Grandfather Frog couldn't get far. So, with a last look to make
sure of the place, Farmer Brown's boy started for the house.

If the Merry Little Breezes had known this, they would have felt ever so
much better. But they didn't. So they hurried as fast as ever they could
to find Grandfather Frog's friends and worked until they were almost too
tired to move, for it seemed as if every single one of Grandfather
Frog's friends had taken that particular day to go away from home. So
while Farmer Brown's boy ate his dinner, and Grandfather Frog lay hiding
under the old board in the Long Lane, the Merry Little Breezes did their
best to find help for him.



XVII

STRIPED CHIPMUNK CUTS THE STRING

  "Hippy hop! Flippy flop! All on a summer day
  My mother turned me from the house and sent me out to play!"


Striped Chipmunk knew perfectly well that that was just nonsense, but
Striped Chipmunk learned a long time ago that when you are just bubbling
right over with good feeling, there is fun in saying and doing foolish
things, and that is just how he was feeling. So he ran along the old
rail fence on one side of the Long Lane, saying foolish things and
cutting up foolish capers just because he felt so good, and all the time
seeing all that those bright little eyes of his could take in.

Now Striped Chipmunk and the Merry Little Breezes of Old Mother West
Wind are great friends, very great friends, indeed. Almost every morning
they have a grand frolic together. But this morning the Merry Little
Breezes hadn't come over to the old stone wall where Striped Chipmunk
makes his home. Anyway, they hadn't come at the usual time. Striped
Chipmunk had waited a little while and then, because he was feeling so
good, he had decided to take a run down the Long Lane to see if anything
new had happened there. That is how it happened that when one of the
Merry Little Breezes did go to look for him, and was terribly anxious to
ask him to come to the help of Grandfather Frog, he was nowhere to be
found.

But Striped Chipmunk didn't know anything about that. He scampered
along the top rails of the old fence, jumped up on top of a post, and
sat up to wash his face and hands, for Striped Chipmunk is very neat and
cannot bear to be the least bit dirty. He looked up and winked at Ol'
Mistah Buzzard, sailing round and round way, way up in the blue, blue
sky. He chased his own tail round and round until he nearly fell off of
the post. He made a wry face in the direction of Redtail the Hawk, whom
he could see sitting in the top of a tall tree way over on the Green
Meadows. He scolded Bowser the Hound, who happened to come trotting up
the Long Lane, and didn't stop scolding until Bowser was out of sight.
Then he kicked up his heels and whisked along the old fence again.

Half-way across a shaky old rail, he suddenly stopped. His bright eyes
had seen something that filled him with curiosity, quite as much
curiosity as Peter Rabbit would have had. It was a piece of string. Yes,
Sir, it was a piece of string. Now Striped Chipmunk often had found
pieces of string, so there was nothing particularly interesting in the
string itself. What did interest him and make him very curious was the
fact that this piece of string kept moving. Every few seconds it gave a
little jerk. Whoever heard of a piece of string moving all by itself?
Certainly Striped Chipmunk never had. He couldn't understand it.

For a few minutes he watched it from the top rail of the old fence. Then
he scurried down to the ground and, a few steps at a time, stopping to
watch sharply between each little run, he drew nearer and nearer to that
queer acting string. It gave him a funny feeling inside to see a string
acting like that, so he was very careful not to get too near. He looked
at it from one side, then ran around and looked at it from the other
side. At last he got where he could see that one end of the string was
under an old board, and then he began to understand. Of course there was
somebody hiding under that old board and jerking the string.

[Illustration: He seized the other end of the string and began to pull.
_Page 88._]

Striped Chipmunk sat down and scratched his head thoughtfully. Whoever
was pulling that string couldn't be very big, or they would never have
been able to crawl under that old board, therefore he needn't be afraid.
A gleam of mischief twinkled in Striped Chipmunk's eyes. He seized the
other end of the string and began to pull. Such a jerking and yanking as
began right away! But he held on and pulled harder. Then out from under
the old board appeared the queer webbed feet of Grandfather Frog tied
together. Striped Chipmunk was so surprised that he let go of the string
and nearly fell over backward.

"Why, Grandfather Frog, what under the sun are you doing here?" he
shouted.

When Striped Chipmunk let go of the string, Grandfather Frog promptly
drew his feet back under the old board, but when he heard Striped
Chipmunk's voice, he slowly and painfully crawled out. He told how he
had been caught and tied by Farmer Brown's boy and finally dropped near
the old board. He told how terribly frightened he was, and how sore his
legs were. Striped Chipmunk didn't wait for him to finish. In a flash he
was at work with his sharp teeth and had cut the cruel string before
Grandfather Frog had finished his story.



XVIII

GRANDFATHER FROG HURRIES AWAY


When Striped Chipmunk cut the string that bound the long legs of
Grandfather Frog together, Grandfather Frog was so relieved that he
hardly knew what to do. Of course he thanked Striped Chipmunk over and
over again. Striped Chipmunk said that it was nothing, just nothing at
all, and that he was very glad indeed to help Grandfather Frog.

"We folks who live out in the Great World have to help one another,"
said Striped Chipmunk, "because we never know when we may need help
ourselves. Now you take my advice, Grandfather Frog, and go back to the
Smiling Pool as fast as you can. The Great World is no place for an old
fellow like you, because you don't know how to take care of yourself."

Now when he said that, Striped Chipmunk made a great mistake. Old people
never like to be told that they are old or that they do not know all
there is to know. Grandfather Frog straightened up and tried to look
very dignified.

"Chugarum!" said he, "I'd have you to know, Striped Chipmunk, that
people were coming to me for advice before you were born. It was just an
accident that Farmer Brown's boy caught me, and I'd like to see him do
it again. Yes, Sir, I'd like to see him do it again!"

Dear me, dear me! Grandfather Frog was boasting. If he had been safe at
home in the Smiling Pool, there might have been some excuse for
boasting, but way over here in the Long Lane, not even knowing the way
back to the Smiling Pool, it was foolish, very foolish indeed. No one
knew that better than Striped Chipmunk, but he has a great deal of
respect for Grandfather Frog, and he knew too that Grandfather Frog was
feeling very much out of sorts and very much mortified to think that he
had been caught in such a scrape, so he put a hand over his mouth to
hide a smile as he said:

"Of course he isn't going to catch you again. I know how wise and smart
you are, but you look to me very tired, and there are so many dangers
out here in the Great World that it seems to me that the very best thing
you can do is to go back to the Smiling Pool."

But Grandfather Frog is stubborn, you know. He had started out to see
the Great World, and he didn't want the little people of the Green
Meadows and the Green Forest to think that he was afraid. The truth is,
Grandfather Frog was more afraid of being laughed at than he was of the
dangers around him, which shows just how foolish wise people can be
sometimes. So he shook his head.

"Chugarum!" said he, "I am going to see the Great World first, and then
I am going back to the Smiling Pool. Do you happen to know where there
is any water? I am very thirsty."

Now over on the other side of the Long Lane was a spring where Farmer
Brown's boy filled his jug with clear cold water to take with him to the
cornfield when he had to work there. Striped Chipmunk knew all about
that spring, for he had been there for a drink many times. So he told
Grandfather Frog just where the spring was and how to get to it. He even
offered to show the way, but Grandfather Frog said that he would rather
go alone.

"Watch out, Grandfather Frog, and don't fall in, because you might not
be able to get out again," warned Striped Chipmunk.

Grandfather Frog looked up sharply to see if Striped Chipmunk was making
fun of him. The very idea of any one thinking that he, who had lived in
the water all his life, couldn't get out when he pleased! But Striped
Chipmunk looked really in earnest, so Grandfather Frog swallowed the
quick retort on the tip of his tongue, thanked Striped Chipmunk, and
hurried away to look for the spring, for he was very, very thirsty.
Besides, he was very, very hot, and he hurried still faster as he
thought of the cool bath he would have when he found that spring.



XIX

GRANDFATHER FROG JUMPS INTO MORE TROUBLE


Some people are heedless and run into trouble. Some people are stupid
and walk into trouble. Grandfather Frog was both heedless and stupid and
jumped into trouble. When Striped Chipmunk told him where the spring
was, it seemed to him that he couldn't wait to reach it. You see,
Grandfather Frog had spent all his life in the Smiling Pool, where he
could get a drink whenever he wanted it by just reaching over the edge
of his big green lily-pad. Whenever he was too warm, all he had to do
was to say "Chugarum!" and dive head first into the cool water. So he
wasn't used to going a long time without water.

Jump, jump, jump! Grandfather Frog was going as fast as ever he could
in the direction Striped Chipmunk had pointed out. Every three or four
jumps he would stop for just a wee, wee bit of rest, then off he would
go again, jump, jump, jump! And each jump was a long one. Peter Rabbit
certainly would have been envious if he could have seen those long jumps
of Grandfather Frog.

At last the ground began to grow damp. The farther he went, the damper
it grew. Presently it became fairly wet, and there was a great deal of
soft, cool, wet moss. How good it did feel to Grandfather Frog's poor
tired feet!

"Must be I'm most there," said Grandfather Frog to himself, as he
scrambled up on a big mossy hummock, so as to look around. Right away he
saw a little path from the direction of the Long Lane. It led straight
past the very hummock on which Grandfather Frog was sitting, and he
noticed that where the ground was very soft and wet, old boards had been
laid down. That puzzled Grandfather Frog a great deal.

"It's a sure enough path," said he. "But what under the blue, blue sky
does any one want to spoil it for by putting those boards there?"

You see, Grandfather Frog likes the soft wet mud, and he couldn't
understand how any one, even Farmer Brown's boy, could prefer a hard dry
path. Of course he never had worn shoes himself, so he couldn't
understand why any one should want dry feet when they could just as well
have wet ones. He was still puzzling over it when he heard a sound that
made him nearly lose his balance and tumble off the hummock. It was a
whistle, the whistle of Farmer Brown's boy! Grandfather Frog knew it
right away, because he often had heard it over by the Smiling Pool. The
whistle came from over in the Long Lane. Farmer Brown's boy had had his
dinner and was on his way back to look for Grandfather Frog where he had
been dropped.

Grandfather Frog actually grinned as he thought how surprised Farmer
Brown's boy was going to be when he could find no trace of him. Suddenly
the smile seemed to freeze on Grandfather Frog's face. That whistle was
coming nearer! Farmer Brown's boy had left the Long Lane and was coming
along the little path. The truth is, he was coming for a drink at the
spring, but Grandfather Frog didn't think of this. He was sure that in
some way Farmer Brown's boy had found out which way he had gone and was
coming after him. He crouched down as flat as he could on the big
hummock and held his breath. Farmer Brown's boy went straight past.
Just a few steps beyond, he stopped and knelt down. Peeping through the
grass, Grandfather Frog saw him dip up beautiful clear water in an old
cup and drink. Then Grandfather Frog knew just where the spring was.

A few minutes later, Farmer Brown's boy passed again, still whistling,
on his way to the Long Lane. Grandfather Frog waited only long enough to
be sure that he had really gone. Then, with bigger jumps than ever, he
started for the spring. A dozen long jumps, and he could see the water.
Two more jumps and then a long jump, and he had landed in the spring
with a splash!

"Chugarum!" cried Grandfather Frog. "How good the water feels!"

And all the time, Grandfather Frog had jumped straight into more
trouble.



XX

GRANDFATHER FROG LOSES HEART

  Look before you leap;
  The water may be deep.


That is the very best kind of advice, but most people find that out when
it is too late. Grandfather Frog did. Of course he had heard that little
verse all his life. Indeed, he had been very fond of saying it to those
who came to the Smiling Pool to ask his advice. But Grandfather Frog
seemed to have left all his wisdom behind him when he left the Smiling
Pool to go out into the Great World. You see, it is very hard work for
any one whose advice has been sought to turn right around and take
advice themselves. So Grandfather Frog had been getting into scrapes
ever since he started out on his foolish journey, and now here he was in
still another, and he had landed in it head first, with a great splash.

Of course, when he had seen the cool, sparkling water of the spring, it
had seemed to him that he just couldn't wait another second to get into
it. He was so hot and dry and dreadfully thirsty and uncomfortable! And
so--oh, dear me!--Grandfather Frog didn't look at all before he leaped.
No, Sir, he didn't! He just dived in with a great long jump. Oh, how
good that water felt! For a few minutes he couldn't think of anything
else. It was cooler than the water of the Smiling Pool, because, as you
know, it was a spring. But it felt all the better for that, and
Grandfather Frog just closed his eyes and floated there in pure
happiness.

Presently he opened his eyes to look around. Then he blinked them
rapidly for a minute or so. He rubbed them to make sure that he saw
aright. His heart seemed to sink way, way down towards his toes.
"Chugarum!" exclaimed Grandfather Frog, "Chugarum!" And after that for a
long time he didn't say a word.

You see, it was this way. All around him rose perfectly straight smooth
walls. He could look up and see a little of the blue, blue sky right
overhead and whispering leaves of trees and bushes. Over the edge of the
smooth straight wall grasses were bending. But they were so far above
his head, so dreadfully far! _There wasn't any place to climb out!_
Grandfather Frog was in a prison! He didn't understand it at all, but it
was so.

Of course, Farmer Brown's boy could have told him all about it. A long
time before Farmer Brown himself had found that spring, and because the
water was so clear and cold and pure, he had cleared away all the dirt
and rubbish around it. Then he had knocked the bottom out of a nice
clean barrel and had dug down where the water bubbled up out of the sand
and had set the barrel down in this hole and had filled in the bottom
with clean white sand for the water to bubble up through. About half-way
up the barrel he had cut a little hole for the water to run out as fast
as it bubbled in at the bottom. Of course the water never could fill the
barrel, because when it reached that hole, it ran out. This left a
straight, smooth wall up above, a wall altogether too high for
Grandfather Frog to jump over from the inside.

Poor old Grandfather Frog! He wished more than ever that he never, never
had thought of leaving the Smiling Pool to see the Great World. Round
and round he swam, but he couldn't see any way out of it. The little
hole where the water ran out was too small for him to squeeze through,
as he found out by trying and trying. So far as he could see, he had
just got to stay there all the rest of his life. Worse still, he knew
that Farmer Brown's boy sometimes came to the spring for a drink, for he
had seen him do it. That meant that the very next time he came, he would
find Grandfather Frog, because there was no place to hide. When
Grandfather Frog thought of that, he just lost heart. Yes, Sir, he just
lost heart. He gave up all hope of ever seeing the Smiling Pool again,
and two big tears ran out of his big goggly eyes.



XXI

THE MERRY LITTLE BREEZES TRY TO COMFORT GRANDFATHER FROG


When the Merry Little Breezes of Old Mother West Wind had left
Grandfather Frog in the Long Lane where Farmer Brown's boy had dropped
him, and had hurried as fast as ever they could to try to find some of
his friends to help him, not one of them had been successful. No one was
at home, and no one was in any of the places where they usually were to
be found. The Merry Little Breezes looked and looked. Then, one by one,
they sadly turned back to the Long Lane. They felt so badly that they
just hated to go back where they had left Grandfather Frog.

When they got there, they found Striped Chipmunk, who now was scolding
Farmer Brown's boy as fast as his tongue could go.

"Where is he?" cried the Merry Little Breezes excitedly.

Striped Chipmunk stopped scolding long enough to point to Farmer Brown's
boy, who was hunting in the grass for some trace of Grandfather Frog.

"We don't mean him, you stupid! We can see him for ourselves. Where's
Grandfather Frog?" cried the Merry Little Breezes, all speaking at once.

"I don't know," replied Striped Chipmunk, "and what's more, I don't
care!"

Now this wasn't true, for Striped Chipmunk isn't that kind. It was
mostly talk, and the Merry Little Breezes knew it. They knew that
Striped Chipmunk really thinks a great deal of Grandfather Frog, just as
they do. So they pretended not to notice what he said or how put out he
seemed. After a while, he told them that he had set Grandfather Frog
free and that then he had started for the spring on the other side of
the Long Lane. The Merry Little Breezes were delighted to hear the good
news, and they said such a lot of nice things to Striped Chipmunk that
he quite forgot to scold Farmer Brown's boy. Then they started for the
spring, dancing merrily, for they felt sure that there Grandfather Frog
was all right, and they expected to find him quite at home.

"Hello, Grandfather Frog!" they shouted, as they peeped into the spring.
"How do you like your new home?"

Grandfather Frog made no reply. He just rolled his great goggly eyes up
at them, and they were full of tears.

"Why--why--why, Grandfather Frog, what is the matter now?" they cried.

"Chugarum," said Grandfather Frog, and his voice sounded all choky, "I
can't get out."

Then they noticed for the first time how straight and smooth the walls
of the spring were and how far down Grandfather Frog was, and they knew
that he spoke the truth. They tried bending down the grasses that grew
around the edge of the spring, but none were long enough to reach the
water. If they had stopped to think, they would have known that
Grandfather Frog couldn't have climbed up by them, anyway. Then they
tried to lift a big stick into the spring, but it was too heavy for
them, and they couldn't move it. However, they did manage to blow an old
shingle in, and this gave Grandfather Frog something to sit on, so that
he began to feel a little better. Then they said all the comforting
things they could think of. They told him that no harm could come to
him there, unless Farmer Brown's boy should happen to see him.

[Illustration: "That's just what I'm afraid of!" croaked Grandfather
Frog. _Page 109_.]

"That's just what I am afraid of!" croaked Grandfather Frog. "He is sure
to see me if he comes for a drink, for there is no place for me to
hide."

"Perhaps he won't come," said one of the Little Breezes hopefully.

"If he does come, you can hide under the piece of shingle, and then he
won't know you are here at all," said another.

Grandfather Frog brightened up. "That's so!" said he. "That's a good
idea, and I'll try it."

Then one of the Merry Little Breezes promised to keep watch for Farmer
Brown's boy, and all the others started off on another hunt for some one
to help Grandfather Frog out of this new trouble.



XXII

GRANDFATHER FROG'S TROUBLES GROW

  Head first in; no way out;
  It's best to know what you're about!


Grandfather Frog had had plenty of time to realize how very true this
is. As he sat on the old shingle which the Merry Little Breezes had
blown into the spring where he was a prisoner, he thought a great deal
about that little word "if." _If_ he hadn't left the Smiling Pool, _if_
he hadn't been stubborn and set in his ways, _if_ he hadn't been in such
a hurry, _if_ he had looked to see where he was leaping--well, any one
of these _ifs_ would have kept him out of his present trouble.

It really wasn't so bad in the spring. That is, it wouldn't have been
so bad but for the fear that Farmer Brown's boy might come for a drink
and find him there. That was Grandfather Frog's one great fear, and it
gave him bad dreams whenever he tried to take a nap. He grew cold all
over at the very thought of being caught again by Farmer Brown's boy,
and when at last one of the Merry Little Breezes hurried up to tell him
that Farmer Brown's boy actually was coming, poor old Grandfather Frog
was so frightened that the Merry Little Breeze had to tell him twice to
hide under the old shingle as it floated on the water.

At last he got it through his head, and drawing a very long breath, he
dived into the water and swam under the old shingle. He was just in
time. Yes, Sir, he was just in time. If Farmer Brown's boy hadn't been
thinking of something else, he certainly would have noticed the little
rings on the water made by Grandfather Frog when he dived in. But he was
thinking of something else, and it wasn't until he dipped a cup in for
the second time that he even saw the old shingle.

"Hello!" he exclaimed. "That must have blown in since I was here
yesterday. We can't have anything like that in our nice spring."

With that he reached out for the old shingle, and Grandfather Frog,
hiding under it, gave himself up for lost. But the anxious Little Breeze
had been watching sharply and the instant he saw what Farmer Brown's boy
was going to do, he played the old, old trick of snatching his hat from
his head. The truth is, he couldn't think of anything else to do. Farmer
Brown's boy grabbed at his hat, and then, because he was in a hurry and
had other things to do, he started off without once thinking of the old
shingle again.

"Chugarum!" cried Grandfather Frog, as he swam out from under the
shingle and climbed up on it, "That certainly was a close call. If I
have many more like it, I certainly shall die of fright."

Nothing more happened for a long time, and Grandfather Frog was
wondering if it wouldn't be safe to take a nap when he saw peeping over
the edge above him two eyes. They were greenish yellow eyes, and they
stared and stared. Grandfather Frog stared and stared back. He just
couldn't help it. He didn't know who they belonged to. He couldn't
remember ever having seen them before. He was afraid, and yet somehow he
couldn't make up his mind to jump. He stared so hard at the eyes that he
didn't notice a long furry paw slowly, very slowly, reaching down
towards him. Nearer it crept and nearer. Then suddenly it moved like a
flash. Grandfather Frog felt sharp claws in his white and yellow
waistcoat, and before he could even open his mouth to cry "Chugarum," he
was sent flying through the air and landed on his back in the grass.
Pounce! Two paws pinned him down, and the greenish yellow eyes were not
an inch from his own. They belonged to Black Pussy, Farmer Brown's cat.



XXIII


THE DEAR OLD SMILING POOL ONCE MORE


Black Pussy was having a good time. Grandfather Frog wasn't. It was
great fun for Black Pussy to slip a paw under Grandfather Frog and toss
him up in the air. It was still more fun to pretend to go away, but to
hide instead, and the instant Grandfather Frog started off, to pounce
upon him and cuff him and roll him about. But there wasn't any fun in it
for Grandfather Frog. In the first place, he didn't know whether or not
Black Pussy liked Frogs to eat, and he was terribly frightened. In the
second place, Black Pussy didn't always cover up her claws, and they
pricked right through Grandfather Frog's white and yellow waistcoat and
hurt, for he is very tender there.

At last Black Pussy grew tired of playing, so catching up Grandfather
Frog in her mouth, she started along the little path from the spring to
the Long Lane. Grandfather Frog didn't even kick, which was just as
well, because if he had, Black Pussy would have held him tighter, and
that would have been very uncomfortable indeed.

"It's all over, and this is the end," moaned Grandfather Frog. "I'm
going to be eaten now. Oh, why, why did I ever leave the Smiling Pool?"

Just as Black Pussy slipped into the Long Lane, Grandfather Frog heard a
familiar sound. It was a whistle, a merry whistle. It was the whistle of
Farmer Brown's boy. It was coming nearer and nearer. A little bit of
hope began to stir in the heart of Grandfather Frog.

He didn't know just why, but it did. Always he had been in the greatest
fear of Farmer Brown's boy, but now--well, if Farmer Brown's boy should
take him, he might get away from him as he did before, but he was very
sure that he never, never could get away from Black Pussy.

The whistle drew nearer. Black Pussy stopped. Then she began to make a
queer whirring sound deep down in her throat.

"Hello, Black Pussy! Have you been hunting? Come here and show me what
you've got," cried a voice.

Black Pussy arched up her back and began to rub against the legs of
Farmer Brown's boy, and all the time the whir, ring sound in her throat
grew louder and louder. Farmer Brown's boy stooped down to see what she
had in her mouth.

"Why," he exclaimed, "I do believe this is the very same old frog that
got away from me! You don't want him, Puss. I'll just put him in my
pocket and take him up to the house by and by."

With that he took Grandfather Frog from Black Pussy and dropped him in
his pocket. He patted Black Pussy, called her a smart cat, and then
started on his way, whistling merrily. It was dark and rather close in
that pocket, but Grandfather Frog didn't mind this. It was a lot better
than feeling sharp teeth and claws all the time. He wondered how soon
they would reach the house and what would happen to him then. After what
seemed like a long, long time, he felt himself swung through the air,
and then he landed on the ground with a thump that made him grunt.
Farmer Brown's boy had taken off his coat and thrown it down.

The whistling stopped. Everything was quiet. Grandfather Frog waited
and listened, but not a sound could he hear. Then he saw a little ray of
light creeping into his prison. He squirmed and pushed, and all of a
sudden he was out of the pocket. The bright light made him blink. As
soon as he could see, he looked to see where he was. Then he rubbed his
eyes with both hands and looked again. He wasn't at Farmer Brown's house
at all. Where do you think he was? Why, right on the bank of the Smiling
Pool, and a little way off was Farmer Brown's boy fishing!

"Chugarum!" cried Grandfather Frog, and it was the loudest, gladdest
chugarum that the Smiling Pool ever had heard. "Chugarum!" he cried
again, and with a great leap he dived with a splash into the dear old
Smiling Pool, which smiled more than ever.

And never again has Grandfather Frog tried to see the Great World. He
is quite content to leave it to those who like to dwell there. And since
his own wonderful adventures, he has been ready to believe anything he
is told about what happens there. Nothing can surprise him, not even the
astonishing things that happened to Chatterer the Red Squirrel, about
which it takes a whole book to tell.





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