“All right,” replied the mouse. “We shall surely be fast friends then.”
So the frog took a blade of grass and fastened one of the mouse’s front feet to one of his hind legs. When the frog leaped, the mouse tumbled after. Then they stopped and had a big laugh; it was very funny.
They first went to an oat field, where the frog found many insects, and the mouse plenty of grain.
Beyond this field there was a pond. The frog had been going toward this pond all of the time, but the mouse had not noticed it. They were soon on its bank.
When the mouse saw the pond he cried out, “Oh, you know I do not like the water, Mr. Frog. Let us go to the barn.”
“Nothing would do you so much good as a cool bath on this hot day. You have never taken one, so you can not know how good it will make you feel,” and the frog jumped into the water.
The mouse tried to get free, but the frog only laughed.
A hawk, looking down, saw the mouse and swooped down upon it. Since the frog was fastened to the mouse, he too was carried off, and both lost their lives.
When the other frogs heard of what had happened, they said, “Served him right. Served him right,” and no frog since that time has ever played a mean joke.
“Let us go to the pond and have some fun,” said George.
“What fun can we have there?” asked Frank. “The pond is nothing but an old mudhole. We can not swim in such water.”
Down at the pond the sun shone warm, and an old mother frog and her children were sunning themselves on a log. Now and then one plunged into the water with a chug! and then crawled out on the bank.
That was a happy time in frog land.
In the midst of their play, they heard a sound which made the mother frog tremble. It was only a boy’s laugh, but as soon as the mother heard it she said, “Into the water, every one of you. The giants are coming;” and they all jumped into the water.
The giants had armed themselves with pebbles. Each one had a pocketful. As soon as they caught sight of the frogs, they cried, “Now for some fun!”
Before the mother frog could reach the water, a stone hit her on one of her feet. The one-sided battle had begun.
Every time a little frog peeped out of the water to get a breath of air or to look at the two giants, whiz! flew a pebble right toward it, and it never cared to look at its enemies again.
The mother became very angry. She lifted her head boldly above the water.
“Cowards!” she cried. “If we could sting, would you fight us? If we could bite, would you be here? You have great sport tormenting us, because we cannot fight for ourselves. You are cowards! cowards!”
And all the little frogs echoed, “Cowards! cowards!”