Mr. Frog's Story by Ellen Robena Field

Down in the garden is a pretty brook, and something funny happened one day as I was sitting watching the tadpoles and minnows playing tag and hide-and-go-seek. All at once something gave a jump out of the water and with a loud "kerchunk," landed on a stone near by. It was Mr. Frog, and as "kerchunk" in frog language means "how do you do?" I replied politely and inquired for his health.

He assured me that he was well and happy, and went on talking. "Did you know that I was once a tadpole just like those little creatures in the brook?

"I have heard people say that you were," I answered. "You would not believe it to look at me now, would you?"

"No," I said, for certainly he did not look at all like the queer little animals I was watching.

"Yes," he continued, "once I was a tiny black egg in a globe of clear white jelly, and floated around along the bank of this same brook. Soon I grew into a wee tadpole, and freed myself from the globe of jelly, and found I could swim about. I had a long flat tail which I used as a paddle to help me swim. I had no feet nor legs then, but I grew very fast, and soon two legs came out near my tail, and by and by two front ones came, and I did not need my tail any more, so it disappeared. Then I discovered that I had a long, slender tongue to catch insects with. My skin, too, had changed, and is now covered with beautiful spots, and if you look at my eyes you will see how bright they are.

"I live beside this brook with my family, and my cousins, the toads; and in the spring and summer evenings we sing to our little tadpole children, and tell them of the time when they, too, will grow up and be toads and frogs."

Here Mr. Frog paused, and before I could thank him for his interesting story, he gave a loud "kadunk," which means "good-by," and with a splash he was off for a swim in the brook.