“Chugarum!” exclaimed Grandfather Frog. “Those certainly are very nice fish, very nice fish indeed. It is very nice of you to think of a poor old fellow like me, and I—er—well, I might find room for just a little teeny, weeny one, if you can spare it.”
Little Joe Otter knows all about Grandfather Frog’s greediness. He looked at Grandfather Frog’s white and yellow waistcoat and saw how it was already stuffed full to bursting. The twinkle in his eyes grew more mischievous than ever as he said: “Of course I can. But I wouldn’t think of giving such an old friend a teeny, weeny one.”
With that, Little Joe picked out the biggest fish he had and tossed it over to Grandfather Frog. It landed close by his nose with a great splash, and it was almost half as big as Grandfather Frog himself. It was plump and looked so tempting that Grandfather Frog forgot all about his full stomach. He even forgot to be polite and thank Little Joe Otter. He just opened his great mouth and seized the fish. Yes, Sir, that is just what he did. Almost before you could wink an eye, the fish had started down Grandfather Frog’s throat head first.
Now you know Grandfather Frog has no teeth, and so he cannot bite things in two. He has to swallow them whole. That is just what he started to do with the fish. It went all right until the head reached his stomach. But you can’t put anything more into a thing already full, and Grandfather Frog’s stomach was packed as full as it could be of foolish green flies. There the fish stuck, and gulp and swallow as hard as he could, Grandfather Frog couldn’t make that fish go a bit farther. Then he tried to get it out again, but it had gone so far down his throat that he couldn’t get it back. Grandfather Frog began to choke.
SPOTTY THE TURTLE PLAYS DOCTOR
Greed’s a dreadful thing to see,
As everybody will agree.
At first Little Joe Otter, sitting on the bank of the Smiling Pool, laughed himself almost sick as he watched Grandfather Frog trying to swallow a fish almost as big as himself, when his white and yellow waistcoat was already stuffed so full of foolish green flies that there wasn’t room for anything more. Such greed would have been disgusting, if it hadn’t been so very, very funny. At least, it was funny at first, for the fish had stuck, with the tail hanging out of Grandfather Frog’s big mouth. Grandfather Frog hitched this way and hitched that way on his big green lily-pad, trying his best to swallow. Twice he tumbled off with a splash into the Smiling Pool. Each time he scrambled back again and rolled his great goggly eyes in silent appeal to Little Joe Otter to come to his aid.
[Illustration: As soon as they saw Grandfather Frog, they began to laugh, too. Page 37.]
But Little Joe was laughing so that he had to hold his sides, and he didn’t understand that Grandfather Frog really was in trouble. Billy Mink and Jerry Muskrat came along, and as soon as they saw Grandfather Frog, they began to laugh, too. They just laughed and laughed and laughed until the tears came. They rolled over and over on the bank and kicked their heels from sheer enjoyment. It was the funniest thing they had seen for a long, long time.