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Nursery-Rhymes-Fun News, Issue #155 -- <
May 15, 2019

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It happened, once upon a time when Mrs. No-Tail, the frog lady, went to the pump to get some water for supper, that a little fish jumped out of the pump spout and nearly bit her on the nose.

“Ha! That is very odd,” she said. “There must be fish in our well, and in that case I think we had better have a new one.”

So that night, when Mr. No-Tail came home from the wallpaper factory, where he stepped into ink and then hopped all over white paper to make funny patterns on it—that night, I say, Mrs. No-Tail said to her husband:

“I think we will have to get a new well.” Then she told him about the fish from the pump nearly biting her, and Mr. No-Tail remarked:

“Yes, I think we had better have a new place to get our water, for the fish in the old well may drink it all up.”

“Well, well!” exclaimed Grandpa Croaker in such a deep bass voice that he made the dishpan on the gas stove rattle as loudly as if Bully or Bawly were drumming on it with a wishbone from the Thanksgiving turkey. “Let me dig the well,” went on the old gentleman frog. “I just love to shovel the dirt, and I can dig a well so deep that no fish will ever get into it.”

“Very well,” said Mr. No-Tail. “You may start in the morning, and Bully and Bawly can help you, as it will be Saturday and there is no school.”

Well, the next morning Grandpa Croaker started in. He marked a nice round circle on the ground in the back yard, because he wanted a round well, and not a square one, you see; and then he began to dig. At first there was nothing for Bully and Bawly to do, as when he was near the top of the well their Grandpa could easily throw the dirt out himself. But when he had dug down quite a distance it was harder work, to toss up the dirt, so Grandpa Croaker told the boys to get a rope, and a hook and some pails.

The hook was fastened to one end of the rope, and then a pail was put on the hook. Then the pail was lowered into the well, down to where Grandpa Croaker was working. He filled the pail with dirt, and Bully and Bawly hauled it up and emptied it.

“Oh, this is lots of fun!” exclaimed Bully, as he and his brother pulled on the rope. “It’s as much fun as playing baseball.”

“I think so, too,” agreed Bawly. Then Sammie Littletail, the rabbit boy, came along, and so did Peetie and Jackie Bow Wow, the puppy dogs. They wanted to help pull up the dirt, so Bully and Bawly let them after Sammie had given the frog brothers a nice marble, and Peetie and Jackie each a stick of chewing gum.

Grandpa Croaker kept on digging the well, and the frog boys and their friends pulled up the dirt, and pretty soon the hole in the ground was so deep and dark that, by looking up straight, from down at the bottom of it, the old gentleman frog could see the stars, and part of the moon, in the sky, even if it was daylight.

Then he dug some more, and, all of a sudden, his shovel went down into some water, and then Grandpa Croaker knew that the well was almost finished. He dug out a little more earth, in came more water, wetting his feet, and then the frog well-digger cried:

“I’ve struck water! I’ve struck water!”

“Hurrah!” shouted Bawly.

“Hurray! Hurray!” exclaimed Bully, and they were so happy that they danced up and down. Then Sammie Little-Tail and Peetie and Jackie Bow Wow grew so excited and delighted that they ran off to tell all their friends about Grandpa Croaker digging a well. That left Bully and Bawly all alone up at the edge of the big hole in the ground, at the bottom of which was their grandpa.

“Let’s have another little dance!” suggested Bully.

“No,” replied Bawly, “let’s jump down the well and have a drink of the new water that hasn’t any fishes in it.”

So, without thinking what they were doing, down they leaped into the well, almost failing on Grandpa Croaker’s bald head, and carrying down with them the rope, by which they had been pulling up the pails of dirt. Into the water they popped, and each one took a big drink.

“Well, now you’ve done it!” cried Grandpa Croaker, as he leaned on his shovel and looked at his two grandsons.

“Why, what is the matter?” asked Bully, splashing some water on Bawly’s nose.

“Yes. All we did was to jump down here,” added Bawly. “What’s wrong?”

“Why that leaves no one above on the ground to help me get up,” said the old gentleman frog. “I was depending on you to haul me up by the rope, and here you jump down, and pull the rope with you. It’s as bad as when Uncle Wiggily was on the roof, only he was up and couldn’t get down, and we’re down and can’t get up.”

“Oh, I think I can jump to the top of the well and take the rope with me. If I can’t take this rope I’ll get another and pull you both up,” said Bully. So he hopped and he hopped, but he couldn’t hop to the top of the well. Every time he tried it, he fell back into the water, ker-sl ash! “Let me try,” said his brother. But it was just the same with Bawly. Back he sploshed-splashed into the well-water, getting all wet. “Now we’ll never get out of here,” said Grandpa Croaker sadly. “I wish you boys would think a little more, and not do things so quickly.”

“We will—next time,” promised Bawly as he gave another big jump, but he came nowhere near the top of the well.

Then it began to look as if they would have to stay down there forever, for no one came to pull them out.

“Let’s call for help,” suggested Bully. So he and Bawly called as loud as they could, and so did Grandpa Croaker. But the well was so deep, and their voices sounded so loud and rumbling, coming out of the hole in the ground, that everyone thought it was thunder. And the animal people feared it would rain, so they all ran home, and no one thought of grandpa and the two frog boys in the deep well.

But at last along came Alice Wibblewobble, and, being a duck, she didn’t mind a thunder storm. So she didn’t run away, and she heard Grandpa Croaker and Bully and Bawly calling for help at the bottom of the well. She asked what was the trouble, and Bully told her what had happened.

“Oh, you silly boys, to jump down a well!” exclaimed Alice. “But never fear, I’ll help you up.” So they never feared, and Alice got a rope and lowered it down to them, and then, with the help of her brother Jimmie and her sister Lulu, she pulled all three frogs up from the well, and they lived happy for ever after, and drank the water that had no fishes in it.

Now if the faucet in the kitchen sink doesn’t turn upside down, and squirt the water on the ceiling and into the cat’s eye, I’ll tell you next about Papa No-Tail in trouble.


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