“Knee-deep! Knee-deep! Knee-deep!” came a shrill cry from the middle
of the pond.
“Better-go-round! Better-go-round! Better-go-round!” croaked a hoarse
voice from the bank.
Now all the little frogs, when they heard their mother call, turned
back, and, swimming far around the deep place, got safely to the shore.
Did I say all? No, one little frog failed to hear his mother’s voice
and, piping in his little shrill tone: “Who’s afraid! Who’s afraid!
Who’s afraid!” he swam straight on. Suddenly one of his hind legs got
tangled among the weeds at the bottom of the pond; and, though he
pulled and jerked with all his little might, he could not free himself.
At last, after a long struggle, he gave it up and called loudly:
“Help-me-out! Help-me-out! Help-me-out!”
The other frogs heard and came swimming all about,–little and big,
young and old; but when they saw poor Froggy caught fast, instead of
trying to free him, they began peeping and croaking and “kerchugging,”
until such a noise went up from the pond as was never heard before.
The little frogs all sat around in a little circle, crying in their
little shrill voices: “Oh-he’ll-die! Oh-he’ll-die! Oh-he’ll-die!”
And the great frogs all sat around in a great circle, croaking in their
great hoarse voices: “Oh-he’ll-drown! Oh-he’ll-drown! Oh-he’ll-drown!”
“Help! Help! Help!” shrieked the little frogs in their little shrill
“Help! Help! Help!” croaked the great frogs in their great hoarse
The little frogs sobbed and moaned, and wiped the tears from their
little bulgy eyes with their little, flat, green hands; the great frogs
sobbed and moaned, and wiped the tears from their great bulgy eyes with
their great, flat, green hands. Altogether they raised such a noise
and commotion that every creature in the pond poked his nose from his
house and came out to see what could be the matter.
At last a great, friendly fish, who, with his wife and children, was
summering in a quiet corner of the pond, swam up to find what all the
noise was about. When he saw poor Froggy struggling to free himself
(feebly now, for his strength was nearly gone) with all his friends and
relations sitting by, sobbing and moaning and croaking, but not trying
to help him out at all, the fish flew into a terrible rage, and,
lashing the water all around into a white foam with his great tail, he
“Pull him out! Pull him out!”
But the little frogs only wiped the tears from their little bulgy eyes
with their little, flat, green hands and went on with their piping:
“Oh-he’ll-die! Oh-he’ll-die! Oh-he’ll-die!”
The great frogs only wiped the tears from their great bulgy eyes with
their great, flat, green hands and went on with their croaking:
“Oh-he’ll-drown! Oh-he’ll-drown! Oh-he’ll-drown!”
“You stupids!” cried the great fish; and, pushing the little frogs and
the big frogs all to the right and left with his huge body, he swam to
little drowning Froggy, seized the poor little fellow in his big mouth
and carried him safely to his home by the shore. There the great fish
left Froggy, to be cuddled by his silly brothers and to be crooned over
by his good but stupid mother.