Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The unexpected undertaking
Patricia Shannon

Julius, the green, golden bell frog canvassed the small, narrow water stream with his large, round, bulging eyes. Something came closer. It was yellow and red and it moved across the water. The noise became louder and louder. The weird, roaring sound disturbed his enjoyment of the early morning coolness.
Uncertain about the impending doom, he was ready to jump away at any moment but, he soon realized there was no immediate danger. Once the object was clearly in sight, he knew what it was! But how and why did the small vessel sail up the creek all by itself?
On a whim, the laid-back amphibian leaped on board. The boat almost capsized but somehow he managed to balance it out. He sat up the front of the small ship and for a while he thoroughly enjoyed the unexpected undertaking. It turned out to become an exciting day. He'd never been in this part of the stream before and it was nice to be somewhere different. He gloated.
He greeted a huge black bumble bee that passed by. “Hi Buzz! Hope you find enough nectar today!” he said. “Yes, so do I Jules,” the bee replied cheerfully. “I must hurry now, and start collecting!” And off he went into the morning air.
Then a white butterfly came to keep him company for a while.
His euphoria was short lived however. Without warning, the calm water transformed into a wild and rapid torrent. Julius was completely caught by surprise and he didn't have the time to jump ship. He clung on for dear life and he tried to hold a grip with his suckers as best as he possibly could. It was impossible for him to jump or to swim. The current was way too fast and the waves appeared huge! He found himself in a real predicament!
Just as he thought things couldn't get any worse, a small waterfall became visible in front of him. Now he really panicked! He had to think of something, and fast!
At that moment, a huge shadow hovered over him and the boat was lifted into the air.
Mum! I found my ship!” a child's voice shouted, “and there's a huge frog in it! I got it just in time, before it disappeared into the sewerage canal!” He laughed excitedly.
Julius cringed. He needed to get away! Barely recovered from his dangerous voyage, he took an enormous leap and jumped as fast as he could, away from the boy.
Exhausted, he finally rested on a thick tree branch, hidden among a few bundles of reed, where the water was much calmer.
That was a close call Julius!” the white butterfly shouted, “you were lucky!”
Yes, indeed I was,” he replied relieved, “extremely lucky in fact!”
Slowly his eyelids dropped down but they did not leave him in peace for long. This time the sound was all too familiar! He had to hide quickly before the heron caught up with him!

The End

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