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Nursery-Rhymes-Fun News, Issue #151 -- <
February 20, 2019

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One day when Bully and Bawly were hopping along on the ground, close to the edge of the pond, Bully suddenly said:

“Bawly, I think I can beat you in a swimming race.”

“I don’t believe you can,” spoke Bawly, as he thoughtfully scratched his left front leg on a piece of hickory bark.

“Well, we’ll try,” said Bully. “We’ll see who can first swim to the other side of the pond, and whoever does it will get a stick of peppermint candy.”

“Where can we get the candy?” asked Bawly. “Have you got it? For if you have, I wish you’d give me a bite before we jump in the water, Bully.”

“No, I haven’t it,” replied his brother. “But I know Grandpa Croaker will give it to us after the race. Come on, let’s jump in.”

So the next minute into the pond jumped those two frog boys, and they didn’t take off their shoes or their stockings, nor even their coats or waists, nor yet their neckties. For you see they wore the kind of clothes which water couldn’t hurt, as they were made of rubber, like a raincoat. Their mamma had to make them that kind, because they went in the water so often.

Into the pond the frogs jumped, and they began swimming as fast as they could. First Bully was a little distance ahead, and then Bawly would kick out his front legs and his hind legs, and he would be in the lead.

“I’m going to win! I’ll get the peppermint candy!” Bawly called to his brother, winking his two eyes right in the water, as easily as you can put your doll to sleep, or play a game of marbles.

“No. I’ll beat!” declared Bully. “But if I get the candy I’ll give you some.”

So they swam on, faster and faster, making the water splash up all around them like a steamboat going to a picnic.

Well, the frogs were almost half way across the pond, when Lulu and Alice Wibblewobble, the duck girls, came out of their pen. They had just washed their faces and their yellow bills, and had put on their new hair ribbons, so they looked very nice, and proper.

“Oh, see Bully and Bawly having a swimming race!” exclaimed Lulu. “I think Bully will win!”

“I think Bawly will!” cried Alice. “See, he is ahead!”

“No, Bully is ahead now,” called Lulu, and surely enough so Bully was, having made a sudden jump in the water.

And then, all of a sudden, before you could take all the seeds out of an apple or an orange, if you had one with seeds in, Bawly disappeared from sight down under the water. He vanished just as the milk goes out of baby’s bottle when she drinks it all up.

“Oh, look!” cried Lulu. “Bawly is going to swim under water!”

“That’s so he can win the race easier, I guess,” spoke Alice.

“What’s that?” asked Bully, wiggling his two eyes.

“Your brother has gone down under the water!” cried the two duck girls together.

“So he has!” exclaimed Bully, glancing around. And then, when he had looked down, he cried out: “Oh, a great big fish has hold of Bawly’s toes, and he’s going to eat him, I guess! I must save my brother!”

Bully didn’t think anything more about the race after that. No, indeed! Down under water he dived, and he swam close up to the fish who was pulling poor Bawly away to his den in among a lot of stones.

“Oh, let my brother go, if you please!” called Bully to the fish.

“No, I’ll not,” was the answer, and then the big fish flopped his tail like a fan and made such a wave that poor Bully was upset, turning a somersault in the water. But that didn’t scare him, and when he had turned over right side up again he swam to the fish once more and said:

“If you don’t let my brother go I’ll call a policeman!”

“No policeman can catch me!” declared the fish, boldly.

“Oh, do something to save me!” cried poor Bawly, trying to pull his toes away from the fish’s teeth, but he couldn’t.

“I’ll save you!” shouted Bully, and then he took a stick, and tried to put it in the fish’s mouth to make him open his jaws and let loose of Bawly. But the stick broke, and the fish was swimming away faster than ever. Then Bully popped his head out of the water and cried to the two duck girls:

“Oh, run and tell Grandpa Croaker! Tell him to come and save Bawly!”

Well, Alice and Lulu wibbled and wobbled as fast as they could go to the frog house, and told Grandpa Croaker, and the old gentleman gave one great big leap, and landed in the water right down close to where the fish had Bawly by the toes.

“Boom! Boom! Croak-croak-croaker-croak!” cried Grandpa in his deepest bass voice. “You let Bawly go!” And, would you believe it, his voice sounded like a cannon blast, and that fish was so frightened, thinking he was going to be shot, that he opened his mouth and let Bawly go. The frog boy’s toes were scratched a little by the teeth of the fish, but he could still swim, and he and his brother and Grandpa were soon safe on shore.

“Well, I guess we won’t race any more today,” said Bawly. “Thank you very much for saving me, Grandpa.”

“Oh, that’s all right,” said Mr. Croaker kindly. “Here is a penny for each of you,” and he gave Bully and Bawly and Lulu and Alice each a penny, and they bought peppermint candy, so Bully and Bawly had something good to eat, even if they didn’t finish the race, and the bad fish had nothing.


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