At last the ground began to grow damp. The farther he went, the damper it grew. Presently it became fairly wet, and there was a great deal of soft, cool, wet moss. How good it did feel to Grandfather Frog’s poor tired feet!
“Must be I’m most there,” said Grandfather Frog to himself, as he scrambled up on a big mossy hummock, so as to look around. Right away he saw a little path from the direction of the Long Lane. It led straight past the very hummock on which Grandfather Frog was sitting, and he noticed that where the ground was very soft and wet, old boards had been laid down. That puzzled Grandfather Frog a great deal.
“It’s a sure enough path,” said he. “But what under the blue, blue sky does any one want to spoil it for by putting those boards there?”
You see, Grandfather Frog likes the soft wet mud, and he couldn’t understand how any one, even Farmer Brown’s boy, could prefer a hard dry path. Of course he never had worn shoes himself, so he couldn’t understand why any one should want dry feet when they could just as well have wet ones. He was still puzzling over it when he heard a sound that made him nearly lose his balance and tumble off the hummock. It was a whistle, the whistle of Farmer Brown’s boy! Grandfather Frog knew it right away, because he often had heard it over by the Smiling Pool. The whistle came from over in the Long Lane. Farmer Brown’s boy had had his dinner and was on his way back to look for Grandfather Frog where he had been dropped.
Grandfather Frog actually grinned as he thought how surprised Farmer Brown’s boy was going to be when he could find no trace of him. Suddenly the smile seemed to freeze on Grandfather Frog’s face. That whistle was coming nearer! Farmer Brown’s boy had left the Long Lane and was coming along the little path. The truth is, he was coming for a drink at the spring, but Grandfather Frog didn’t think of this. He was sure that in some way Farmer Brown’s boy had found out which way he had gone and was coming after him. He crouched down as flat as he could on the big hummock and held his breath. Farmer Brown’s boy went straight past. Just a few steps beyond, he stopped and knelt down. Peeping through the grass, Grandfather Frog saw him dip up beautiful clear water in an old cup and drink. Then Grandfather Frog knew just where the spring was.
A few minutes later, Farmer Brown’s boy passed again, still whistling, on his way to the Long Lane. Grandfather Frog waited only long enough to be sure that he had really gone. Then, with bigger jumps than ever, he started for the spring. A dozen long jumps, and he could see the water. Two more jumps and then a long jump, and he had landed in the spring with a splash!
“Chugarum!” cried Grandfather Frog. “How good the water feels!”
And all the time, Grandfather Frog had jumped straight into more trouble.