They climbed over some of the huge legs and walked around others. Soon they had left the creature far behind. “Aren’t you rather slow?” asked the frog when once more they came up to him.
“It isn’t that,” said Trot. “You are rather swift, I guess.” The frog chuckled and leaped again. They noticed that the fog had caught a soft rose tint and was lighter and less dense than before, for which reason the sailor remarked that they must be getting near to the Pink Country.
On this jump they saw nothing but a monstrous turtle, which lay asleep with its head and legs drawn into its shell. It was not in their way, so they hurried on and rejoined the frog, which said to them, “I’m sorry, but I’m due at the King’s Court in a few minutes, and I can’t wait for your short, weak legs to make the journey to the Pink Country. But if you will climb upon my back, I think I can carry you to the border in one more leap.”
“I’m tired,” said Trot, “an’ this awful fog’s beginnin’ to choke me. Let’s ride on the frog, Cap’n.”
“Right you are, mate,” he replied, and although he shook a bit with fear, the old man at once began to climb to the frog’s back. Trot seated herself on one side of him and Button-bright on the other, and the sailor put his arms around them both to hold them tight together.
“Are you ready?” asked the frog.
“Ding-dong!” cried the parrot.
“All aboard, let ’er go!
Jump the best jump that you know.”
“Don’t—don’t! Jump sort o’ easy, please,” begged Cap’n Bill.
But the frog was unable to obey his request. Its powerful hind legs straightened like steel springs and shot the big body, with its passengers, through the fog like an arrow launched from a bow. They gasped for breath and tried to hang on, and then suddenly the frog landed just at the edge of the Fog Bank, stopping so abruptly that his three riders left his back and shot far ahead of him. They felt the fog melt away and found themselves bathed in glorious rays of sunshine, but they had no time to consider this change because they were still shooting through the air, and presently—before they could think of anything at all—all three were rolling heels over head on the soft grass of a meadow.
THE PINK COUNTRY
When the travelers could collect their senses and sit up, they stared about them in bewilderment, for the transition from the sticky, damp fog to this brilliant scene was so abrupt as to daze them at first.
It was a Pink Country indeed. The grass was a soft pink, the trees were pink, all the fences and buildings which they saw in the near distance were pink—even the gravel in the pretty paths was pink. Many shades of color were there, of course, grading from a faint blush rose to deep pink verging on red, but no other color was visible. In the sky hung a pink glow, with rosy clouds floating here and there, and the sun was not silvery white, as we see it from the Earth, but a distinct pink.