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MR. GREEN FROG AND HIS VISITORS

  • ONE day a young Frog who lived down by the river, came hopping up through the
  • meadow. He was a fine-looking fellow, all brown and green, with a white vest,
  • and he came to see the sights. The oldest Frog on the river bank had told him
  • that he ought to travel and learn to know the world, so he had started at
  • once.
  • Young Mr. Green Frog had very big eyes, and they stuck out from his head more
  • than ever when he saw all the strange sights and heard all the strange sounds
  • of the meadow. Yet he made one great mistake, just as bigger and better people
  • sometimes do when they go on a journey; he didn't try to learn from the things
  • he saw, but only to show off to the meadow people how much he already knew,
  • and he boasted a great deal of the fine way in which he lived when at home.
  • Mr. Green Frog told those whom he met that the meadow was dreadfully dry, and
  • that he really could not see how they lived there. He said they ought to see
  • the lovely soft mud that there was in the marsh, and that there the people
  • could sit all day with their feet in water in among the rushes where the
  • sunshine never came. "And then," he said, "to eat grass as the Grasshoppers
  • did! If they would go home with him, he would show them how to live."
  • The older Grasshoppers and Crickets and Locusts only looked at each other and
  • opened their funny mouths in a smile, but the young ones thought Mr. Green
  • Frog must be right, and they wanted to go back with him. The old Hoppers told
  • them that they wouldn't like it down there, and that they would be sorry that
  • they had gone; still the young ones teased and teased and teased and teased
  • until everybody said: "Well, let them go, and then perhaps they will be
  • contented when they return."
  • At last they all set off together,—Mr. Green Frog and the young meadow people.
  • Mr. Green Frog took little jumps all the way and bragged and bragged. The
  • Grasshoppers went in long leaps, the Crickets scampered most of the way, and
  • the Locusts fluttered. It was a very gay little party, and they kept saying to
  • each other, "What a fine time we shall have!"
  • When they got to the marsh, Mr. Green Frog went in first with a soft "plunk"
  • in the mud. The rest all followed and tried to make believe that they liked
  • it, but they didn't—they didn't at all. The Grasshoppers kept bumping against
  • the tough, hard rushes when they jumped, and then that would tumble them over
  • on their backs in the mud, and there they would lie, kicking their legs in the
  • air, until some friendly Cricket pushed them over on their feet again. The
  • Locusts couldn't fly at all there, and the Crickets got their shiny black
  • coats all grimy and horrid.
  • They all got cold and wet and tired—yes, and hungry too, for there were no
  • tender green things growing in among the rushes. Still they pretended to have
  • a good time, even while they were thinking how they would like to be in their
  • dear old home.
  • After the sun went down in the west it grew colder still, and all the Frogs in
  • the marsh began to croak to the moon, croaking so loudly that the tired little
  • travellers could not sleep at all. When the Frogs stopped croaking and went to
  • sleep in the mud, one tired Cricket said: "If you like this, stay.  I am going
  • home as fast as my six little legs will carry me." And all the rest of the
  • travellers said: "So am I," "So am I," "So am I."
  • Mr. Green Frog was sleeping soundly, and they crept away as quietly as they
  • could out into the silvery moonlight and up the bank towards home. Such a
  • tired little party as they were, and so hungry that they had to stop and eat
  • every little while. The dew was on the grass and they could not get warm.
  • The sun was just rising behind the eastern forest when they got home. They did
  • not want to tell about their trip at all, but just ate a lot of pepper-grass
  • to make them warm, and then rolled themselves in between the woolly mullein
  • leaves to rest all day long. And that was the last time any of them ever went
  • away with a stranger.