So Spotty the Turtle found a good place to spend the night, and then he sat down to watch and wait. Right before him was the thing which he had found and which puzzled him so. What was it? Why, it was a wall. Yes, Sir, that is just what it was — a wall of logs and sticks and mud, and it was right across the Laughing Brook, where the banks were steep and narrow. Of course the Laughing Brook could laugh no longer; there couldn’t enough water get through that wall of logs and sticks and mud to make even the beginning of a laugh. Spotty wondered what lay behind that wall, and who had built it, and what for, and a lot of other things. And he was still wondering when he fell asleep.
Spotty the Turtle was awake by the time the first rays of the rising sun began to creep through the Green Forest. He was far, far up the Laughing Brook, very much farther than he had ever been before, and as he yawned and stretched, he wondered if after all he hadn’t dreamed about the wall of logs and sticks and mud across the Laughing Brook. When he had rubbed the last sleepy-wink out of his eyes, he looked again. There it was, just as he had seen it the night before! Then Spotty knew that it was real, and he began to wonder what was on the other side of it.
“I cannot climb it, for my legs were never made for climbing,” said Spotty mournfully as he looked at his funny little black feet. “Oh, dear, I wish that I could climb like Happy Jack Squirrel!” Just then a thought popped into his head and chased away the little frown that had crept into Spotty’s face. “Perhaps Happy Jack sometimes wishes that he could swim as I can, so I guess we are even. I can’t climb, but he can’t swim. How foolish it is to wish for things never meant for you!”
And with that, all the discontent left Spotty the Turtle, and he began to study how he could make the most of his short legs and his perseverance, of which, as you already know, he had a great deal. He looked this way, and he looked that way, and he saw that if he could climb to the top of the bank on one side of the Laughing Brook, he would be able to walk right out on the strange wall of logs and sticks and mud, and then, of course, he could see just what was on the other side.
So Spotty the Turtle wasted no more time wishing that he could do something it was never meant that he should do. Instead, he picked out what looked like the easiest place to climb the bank and started up. My, my, my, it was hard work! You see, he had to carry his house along with him, for he has to carry that wherever he goes, and it would have been hard enough to have climbed that bank without carrying anything. Every time he had climbed up three steps he slipped back two steps, but he kept at it, puffing and blowing, saying over and over to himself: