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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
The Frogs On the Wall


Blake threw the toy truck across the room. It shattered into pieces and scattered all over the polished, hardwood floor. "Blake!" his mum shouted. "Why did you do that?"

He stood looking at her. Pouting lips hung down onto his chin. His eyebrows pointed towards his nose and his arms were folded across his chest. "Because!" he shouted back.

"I think its time for a time out, young man," she said. She took him to the corner of the room and stood him facing the wall. "You have to stay here for fifteen minutes and think about what you did. The toy truck is broken now and you can never play with it again. The broken pieces could have hurt someone, Blake. Iíll set the timer and when it dings, you can leave."

Blake faced the wall while his mum cleaned up the broken pieces of the metal truck. She threw them into the trashcan and went back to her drawing. She glanced now and then at her son and her heart ached for him. As she put the last touches on her drawing, when the timer dinged. He turned around and looked at her. "All right, Blake. Did you think about what you did?" she asked.

"Yes, Mummy. Iím sorry. I wonít throw my trucks ever again," Blake apologized. He ran over and hugged her.

"Why donít you go outside and play for a while. Iíll call you when lunch is ready," she said to the four year old. Blake ran out to play and his mum picked up her sketchpad. She looked down at the drawing. "A frog," she whispered. She walked over to the corner where Blake had spent his Ďtime outí and rubbed her hands on the wall. "A frog," she said again. She smiled and went into the kitchen, an idea going through her mind.

After lunch, Blake went with his grandmother to the zoo. While he was gone, his mum got busy with her project. The hours passed quickly and soon Blake was home again. As the sky turned from bright blue to darkness, Blake heard his dad pull up in the driveway. The front door opened and in he came. "Daddy! Youíre home!" Blake shouted. "Guess what, Daddy? I went to the zoo with Grandma today."

"You did? What did you see?" his dad asked.

"I saw elephants and tigers and giraffes and gorillas," Blake said, excitedly.

"Did you have fun with Grandma?" he asked.

"Grandma bought me a milkshake and a sandwich shaped like a lion. It was good. I love Grandma," Blake replied.

"Iím glad. Letís go and have our supper," his dad said. He and Blake went into the kitchen and sat down at the table. "What are we having tonight dear?" he asked his wife.

"Your favorite, spaghetti with meatballs, salad and garlic bread," she answered.

"Sounds good," he said.

She put the plates of food on the table. Dad started to gobble his down but Blake just stared at it. "Whatís the matter, Blake?" Mum asked.

"I donít like salad. I hate it. I donít want salad," he pouted.

"Just take a bite or two. I didnít give you much. Grandma told me that the animals at the zoo ate salad and you watched them," she reminded.

"I am not a gorilla or a giraffe. I donít want salad and Iím not going to eat it," he scowled.

"Try a bite," his dad said.

"No!"

"I think itís time for a time out," Mum said, pulling Blakeís chair away from the table. "You go and stand in the corner for five minutes and think about how lucky you are to have food and then you can come back in here." She sent Blake into the other room to stand in the corner.

Frogs on the Wall

He stomped his feet and marched into the other room. When he got to the corner, he started to smile. "Frogs!" He looked at the wall. His mum had painted three green frogs on the wall, each sitting on a lily pad, their long tongues sticking out, trying to catch flies. Blake giggled. He heard the ding and knew his time was up, but stayed in the corner.

"Why hasnít Blake come back to eat his supper?" Dad wondered.

"He must be enjoying the frogs," Mum laughed.

"Frogs? What frogs?"

"Go and look," she said. They both got up and went into the other room. "He seems to spend so much time these days in Ďtime outí. I thought it might make it a little less boring for him."

"Thatís a gift of love," Dad said, smiling. "Blake, come and eat your supper," he called to his son.

Blake still didnít eat his salad and he still didnít like time out, but at least he had the frogs on the wall to keep him company.


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