A FROG NAMED ALEXANDER
Written by Erika Rauh
♫ I’m a frog, I’m a frog, I’m a croaking little frog, ♫ sang Alexander, the green little frog, as he did a joyful dance on the bank of the river.
Listen, mom, I can croak! Gribbit, gribbit, gribbit. Ha-ha-ha! This was such fun!
That is great Alexander, said his mom. I am so happy for you! You are growing up so fast and I am so very proud of you. Now come, let’s go catch some bugs – I can hear your tummy growling from here!
Alexander and his mom happily hopped off in search of bugs for breakfast. It was a beautiful sunny day. Everywhere he looked, he could see birds, butterflies, insects, grass, and flowers. The world around him was painted in such beautiful colours! Blue, green, yellow, purple, orange and red. His mom and dad have been teaching him about colours because they were important in his life. If he ate a bug that was the wrong colour, he could get very, very sick and even die. The yellow sun shone brightly in the clear blue sky and here and there a fluffy white cloud was drifting lazily.
Luckily the grass was tall, so he and his mom were nicely camouflaged. He did not want to get caught by a snake or a bird. Oh no! His mom and dad had a very serious talk with him about the dangers of being out of the water, but it was so nice to be free!
He couldn’t wait to explore! There was so much to see and experience! A whole new world existed outside the water where he has been safely cocooned for the last few weeks growing from a little tadpole into a frog. At last! There were a few scary moments when he almost got gobbled by a fish, but his mom and dad protected him fiercely.
He had been dying to try out his legs on land and what a pleasant surprise it had been when he discovered that he could croak! His croak wasn’t as loud as his dad’s yet, but he would get there. One of these days he would be big and his voice would be heard from far!
But first: breakfast! Alexander had to learn to be very still and then to shoot his tongue out at the right moment in order to catch bugs. This was quite tricky though, as flies especially were very fast and could see in all directions at the same time as they had so many eyes. Tricky business indeed. Ah! There was a green grasshopper munching away at a leaf. Maybe that was not such a good idea: he looked a little bit too big to fit into Alexander’s mouth.
His bulbous eyes carefully searched the grass, flowers, and sky around him, and then he spotted a beautiful butterfly landing on a flower. He was so hungry, but he hesitated as he was feeling really bad about wanting to eat the butterfly.
It was so pretty with its colourful wings of purple, pink and yellow fluttering. Deep inside he knew that this is what frogs did, but he just didn’t have the heart for it, so he ignored the butterfly (giving himself a little mental pat on the back) and started looking elsewhere. Soon he found and ate a brown worm, a purple and turquoise dragonfly and an orange mosquito. He ate all the bugs his tummy could handle and then he just started hopping around in different directions, exploring.
He completely lost track of time and every now and again, his mom or dad would call for him and he would absentmindedly answer just to let them know that he was alive and safe.
Without realizing, he had completely wandered further and further away from his parents because the world around him was just so fascinating. He would now and again hear his father’s deep gribbiting and his mom calling for him, but he stopped answering all together. He was big now, wasn’t he? He didn’t need to be babied anymore.
Soon he arrived in the backyard of a house. There was a big pond in the garden and to him, it looked just like the river where he was born. He hopped closer and closer to go and investigate when all of a sudden a HUGE shadow loomed over him.
He carefully looked up and saw, what must have been the fiercest looking thing he had ever seen. Huge white fangs were coming towards him and he knew, just knew, if he didn’t do something very quickly, this “thing” would eat him.
He wanted to cry for his mommy and daddy, but he knew they would never hear him. He shouldn’t have wandered away from them! He wasn’t as big as he thought he was! He still needed his parents to look after him. What was he going to do?! He didn’t want to get eaten! The thing started making sounds so loud, his brain was rattling. It had also started jumping around and it looked very excited about catching Alexander. Alexander had never, ever seen anything like this. His little heart thump, thump, thumped in his chest and then, very bravely, he took one huge leap right into the pond and away from this hairy threat. He was safe. He was alive. He signed a huge sigh of relief.
The thing kept making a loud noise until a human came out of the house and asked it why it was barking. Oh, so that is what a dog looks like, thought Alexander. His dad had told him about dogs. The dog followed the human into the house and Alexander very cautiously got out of the pond, hopped back the way he came and started croaking hoping his mom and dad would hear him.
He had to “gribbit” for quite a while and his throat was getting really dry when finally he received an answer back.
Mommy and Daddy’s faces looked very cross when they finally found him, and his dad was just about to scold him when his mom said “let’s just get him home safe first, then you can scold him all you want. I am just so happy my baby is alive and safe.”
Alexander hopped home in between his mom and dad very shamefacedly, but also very happy that his mom and dad loved him so much. He should have listened to his parents. He was FAR from ready to be out in the big world all by himself.
He would just have to be patient until the day that he was all grown up. For now? For now, he would listen to mom and dad and not leave their side.