Grandfather Frog Keeps On
Grandfather Frog is old and wise,
But even age is foolish.
I'm sure you'll all agree with me
His stubbornness was mulish.
That his very last day had come Grandfather Frog was sure. He didn't have the least doubt about it. Here he was at the mercy of Bowser the Hound out on the Green Meadows far from the dear, safe Smiling Pool. Every time he moved, Bowser flipped him over on his back and danced around him, barking with joy. Every minute Grandfather Frog expected to feel Bowser's terrible teeth, and he grew cold at the thought. When he found that he couldn't get away, he just lay still. He was too tired and frightened to do much of anything else, anyway.
Now when he lay still, he spoiled Bowser's fun, for it was seeing him jump and kick his long legs that tickled Bowser so. Bowser tossed him up in the air two or three times, but Grandfather Frog simply lay where he fell without moving.
"Bow, wow, wow!" cried Bowser, in his great deep voice. Grandfather Frog didn't so much as blink his great goggly eyes. Bowser sniffed him all over.
"I guess I've frightened him to death," said Bowser, talking to himself. "I didn't mean to do that. I just wanted to have some fun with him." With that, Bowser took one more sniff and then trotted off to try to find something more exciting. You see, he hadn't had the least intention in the world of really hurting Grandfather Frog.
Grandfather Frog kept perfectly still until he was sure that Bowser was nowhere near. Then he gave a great sigh of relief and crawled under a big mullein leaf to rest, and think things over.
"Chugarum, that was a terrible experience; it was, indeed!" said he to himself, shivering at the very thought of what he had been through. "Nothing like that ever happened to me in the Smiling Pool. I've always said that the Smiling Pool is a better place in which to live than is the Great World, and now I know it. The question is, what had I best do now?"
Now right down in his heart Grandfather Frog knew the answer. Of course the best thing to do was to go straight back to the Smiling Pool as fast as he could. But Grandfather Frog is stubborn. Yes, Sir, he certainly is stubborn. And stubbornness is often just another name for foolishness. He had told Jerry Muskrat that he was going out to see the Great World. Now if he went back, Jerry would laugh at him.
"I won't!" said Grandfather Frog.
"What won't you do?" asked a voice so close to him that Grandfather Frog made a long jump before he thought. You see, at the Smiling Pool he always jumped at the least hint of danger, and because one jump always took him into the water, he was always safe. But there was no water here, and that jump took him right out where anybody passing could see him. Then he turned around to see who had startled him so. It was Danny Meadow Mouse.
"I won't go back to the Smiling Pool until I have seen the Great World," replied Grandfather Frog gruffly.
"You won't see much of the Great World if you jump like that every time you get a scare," said Danny.
"You won't see much of the Great World if you jump like that every time you get a scare," said Danny, shaking his head. "No, Sir, you won't see much of the Great World, because one of these times you'll jump right into the claws of old Whitetail the Marsh Hawk, or his cousin Redtail, or Reddy Fox. You take my advice, Grandfather Frog, and go straight back to the Smiling Pool. You don't know enough about the Great World to take care of yourself."
But Grandfather Frog was set in his ways, and nothing that Danny Meadow Mouse could say changed his mind in the least. "I started out to see the Great World, and I'm going to keep right on," said he.
"All right," said Danny at last. "If you will, I suppose you will. I'll go a little way with you just to get you started right."
"Thank you," replied Grandfather Frog. "Let's start right away."