Striped Chipmunk sat down and scratched his head thoughtfully. Whoever was pulling that string couldn’t be very big, or they would never have been able to crawl under that old board, therefore he needn’t be afraid. A gleam of mischief twinkled in Striped Chipmunk’s eyes. He seized the other end of the string and began to pull. Such a jerking and yanking as began right away! But he held on and pulled harder. Then out from under the old board appeared the queer webbed feet of Grandfather Frog tied together. Striped Chipmunk was so surprised that he let go of the string and nearly fell over backward.
“Why, Grandfather Frog, what under the sun are you doing here?” he shouted.
When Striped Chipmunk let go of the string, Grandfather Frog promptly drew his feet back under the old board, but when he heard Striped Chipmunk’s voice, he slowly and painfully crawled out. He told how he had been caught and tied by Farmer Brown’s boy and finally dropped near the old board. He told how terribly frightened he was, and how sore his legs were. Striped Chipmunk didn’t wait for him to finish. In a flash he was at work with his sharp teeth and had cut the cruel string before Grandfather Frog had finished his story.
GRANDFATHER FROG HURRIES AWAY
When Striped Chipmunk cut the string that bound the long legs of Grandfather Frog together, Grandfather Frog was so relieved that he hardly knew what to do. Of course he thanked Striped Chipmunk over and over again. Striped Chipmunk said that it was nothing, just nothing at all, and that he was very glad indeed to help Grandfather Frog.
“We folks who live out in the Great World have to help one another,” said Striped Chipmunk, “because we never know when we may need help ourselves. Now you take my advice, Grandfather Frog, and go back to the Smiling Pool as fast as you can. The Great World is no place for an old fellow like you, because you don’t know how to take care of yourself.”
Now when he said that, Striped Chipmunk made a great mistake. Old people never like to be told that they are old or that they do not know all there is to know. Grandfather Frog straightened up and tried to look very dignified.
“Chugarum!” said he, “I’d have you to know, Striped Chipmunk, that people were coming to me for advice before you were born. It was just an accident that Farmer Brown’s boy caught me, and I’d like to see him do it again. Yes, Sir, I’d like to see him do it again!”
Dear me, dear me! Grandfather Frog was boasting. If he had been safe at home in the Smiling Pool, there might have been some excuse for boasting, but way over here in the Long Lane, not even knowing the way back to the Smiling Pool, it was foolish, very foolish indeed. No one knew that better than Striped Chipmunk, but he has a great deal of respect for Grandfather Frog, and he knew too that Grandfather Frog was feeling very much out of sorts and very much mortified to think that he had been caught in such a scrape, so he put a hand over his mouth to hide a smile as he said: