| Among the Meadow People|
|by Clara Dillingham Pierson|
|Delightful stories of field life for young children, relating incidents in the lives of birds, insects, and other small creatures who make the meadow their home. Each chapter features the story of one animal in its daily activities and interactions with the other animals inhabiting the meadow. Ages 5-7 |
 BY the edge of the marsh lived a young Frog, who thought a
great deal about herself and much less about other people.
Not that it was wrong to think so much of herself, but it
certainly was unfortunate that she should have so little
time left in which to think of others and of the beautiful
Early in the morning this Frog would awaken and lean far
over the edge of a pool to see how
 she looked after her
night's rest. Then she would give a spring, and come down
with a splash in the cool water for her morning bath. For a
while she would swim as fast as her dainty webbed feet would
push her, then she would rest, sitting in the soft mud with
just her head above the water.
When her bath was taken, she had her breakfast, and that was
the way in which she began her day. She did nothing but
bathe and eat and rest, from sunrise to sunset. She had a
fine, strong body, and had never an ache or a pain, but one
day she got to thinking, "What if sometime I should be
sick?" And then, because she thought about nothing but her
own self, she was soon saying, "I am afraid I shall be
sick." In a little while longer it was, "I certainly am
She crawled under a big toadstool, and sat there looking
very glum indeed, until a Cicada came along. She told the
 how sick she felt, and he told his cousins, the
Locusts, and they told their cousins, the Grasshoppers, and
they told their cousins, the Katydids, and then everybody
told somebody else, and started for the toadstool where the
young Frog sat. The more she had thought of it, the worse
she felt, until, by the time the meadow people came crowding
around, she was feeling very sick indeed.
"Where do you feel badly?" they cried, and, "How long have
you been sick?" and one Cricket stared with big eyes, and
said, "How dr-r-readfully she looks!" The young Frog felt
weaker and weaker, and answered in a faint little voice that
she had felt perfectly well until after breakfast, but that
now she was quite sure her skin was getting dry, and "Oh
dear!" and "Oh dear!"
Now everybody knows that Frogs breathe through their skins
as well as through their noses, and for a Frog's skin
 to get
dry is very serious, for then he cannot breathe through it;
so, as soon as she said that, everybody was frightened and
wanted to do something for her at once. Some of the timid
ones began to weep, and the others bustled around, getting
in each other's way and all trying to do something
different. One wanted to wrap her in mullein leaves, another
wanted her to nibble a bit of the peppermint which grew
near, a third thought she should be kept moving, and that
was the way it went.
Just when everybody was at his wits' end, the old Tree Frog
came along. "Pukr-r-rup! What is the matter with you?" he
"Oh!" gasped the young Frog, weakly, "I am sure my skin is
getting dry, and I feel as though I had something in my
"Umph!" grunted the Tree Frog to himself. "I guess there
isn't enough in her head to
ever make her sick; and, as
 for her skin, it isn't dry yet, and nobody knows that it ever
But as he was a wise old fellow and had learned much about
life, he knew he must not say such things aloud. What he did
say was, "I heard there was to be a great race in the pool
The young Frog lifted her head quite quickly, saying: "You
did? Who are the racers?"
"Why, all the young Frogs who live around here. It is too
bad that you cannot go."
"I don't believe it would hurt me any," she said.
take cold," the Tree Frog said; "besides, the exercise would
"Oh, but I am feeling much better," the young Frog said,
"and I am certain it will do me good."
"You ought not to go," insisted all the older meadow people.
"You really ought not."
 "I don't care," she answered, "I am going anyway, and I am
just as well as anybody."
And she did go, and it did seem that she was as strong as
ever. The people all wondered at it, but the Tree Frog
winked his eyes at them and said, "I knew that it would cure
her." And then he, and the Garter Snake, and the fat, old
Cricket laughed together, and all the younger meadow people
wondered at what they were laughing.
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