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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
Frog Legs

Forrest croaked monotonously as he sat on the lily pad. Flies were buzzing all around him. He thought of trying to catch another with his long, sticky tongue, but it seemed too much of an effort and he didnít think he could fit one more fly into his tummy.

His large, bulgy eyes rolled around in circles as he watched all the other frogs. Their were tongues going everywhere. In fact, there were not only too many flies, but there were far too many frogs at that pond. There was no room to leap, no room in the water to cool off, and there were two other frogs sharing the same lily pad with him. It was just too crowded.

Frog Legs

As Forrest sat thinking about this, he was kicked in the face by a frog that was trying to hop to another lily pad. As another frog leapt through the air, its leg kicked him in the tummy, which was full of flies. Everywhere he looked there were frogís legs. The noise was unbearable. CROAK! CROAK! CROAK! It went all day and night. Forrest never got any sleep, any peace, or any quiet.

He decided that he needed to go and find somewhere else to live. The summer sun had dried up most of the once-huge pond, leaving just this small, puddle-like spot of water. When another frog landed on top of his head with a splat, Forrest knew it was time to leave. He squeezed his way through the mass of slimy, squiggly frogs and hopped off into the bushes. Before he got too far, he turned and looked back at the pond. All he could see were frogís legs. He was glad to leave! Surely he could find another pond, a bigger one somewhere else.

Forrest leapt across the dirt. He could feel his moist skin drying up. He knew he needed to find water soon. He heard some deer up ahead and knew a pond couldnít be too far away. He hopped quickly, plopping his body on the rich brown soil. He stopped when he heard a hissing sound. He didnít move, but stayed completely still, listening. Without moving his head, his large, googley eyes turned and he saw a snake sitting against a large rock. It was coiled up; its tongue was flickering in and out of its mouth. Forrestís mind started racing. How would he get out of this mess? Snakes eat frogs. He mustered all the strength he could and leapt through the air in a huge leap, leaving the ready-to- strike snake to wonder where his meal had just gone.

Forrest knew he needed to be more careful and watch where he was going. He soon arrived at a pond. It was much bigger than the last one. He could hear several other frogs, but it wasnít like the old pond. He jumped through the air, landed in the water and hopped onto a lily pad. It felt good to have the water rushing over his dried skin. He shut his eyes and rested.

Only a few minutes had passed when Forrest felt his lily pad being lifted up into the air. It went higher and higher. He peered down over the edge to see what was happening. A tortoise had gone under the lily and stood up. The taller the tortoise stood, the higher Forrest went. Suddenly the lily pad slid off the tortoiseís back and it, along with Forrest, fell right into the pond. The tortoiseís feet stomped the lily pad to pieces and nearly missed Forrest. The frog was scared. He came to the top of the pond and saw that there were tortoises everywhere. This pond wasnít going to be safe. He swam to the shore and hopped away.

Frog Legs

There were many animals around each of the ponds he came to. He saw deer, fox, a bear or two, a few rabbits and some squirrels. There were also many birds flying down to quench their thirst at the pondís edge. Forrest needed to be very careful.

After hopping for a long, long time, Forrest finally arrived at another pond. He couldnít see any animals there. He didnít hear any other frogs. He peeked under the water and saw there were no tortoise. Feeling safe, he hopped in and sank down into the cool water. He soon fell asleep beneath a dark sky filled with twinkling stars.

When he woke up, he had the feeling that he was moving. He opened his large, bulging eyes and looked around. It was pouring rain, and he was being carried down river by a huge wall of water. He looked up. There was no longer a pond. He was now in the wide, raging river surrounded by steep banks on both sides. He grabbed hold of some reeds that had been uprooted and caught in the strong current, and held on to them as he was carried further and further away. Finally the water calmed down. Instead of a raging torrent it was now a smooth flowing river. Forrest swam over to the riverbank and sat on the mud.

After resting, he hopped around, looking to see where he was. He saw some deer. They were standing in the shallow edge of the river. He saw some large trout swimming lazily in the middle of the deep river. Many birds were landing in the water, catching fish in their beaks.

He reached a shallow area filled with lily pads and hopped onto one. There was now plenty of room for all the frogs and the other animals. There would be no more frogís legs kicking him and no more frogís legs bumping him off his lily pad. He let out a loud croak of contentment and stuck out his long, sticky tongue to catch flies.

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