“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.”
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.