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Nursery-Rhymes-Fun News, Issue #169 -- <
April 29, 2020

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One day, as Bully No-Tail, the frog boy, was coming home from school he thought of a very hard word he had had to spell in class that afternoon. It began with a “C,” and the next letter was “A” and the next one was “T”—CAT—and what do you think? Why Bully said it spelled “Kitten,” and just for that he had to write the word on his slate forty-’leven times, so he’d remember it next day.

“I guess I won’t forget it again in a hurry,” thought Bully as he hopped along with his books in a strap over his shoulder. “C-a-t spells—” And just then he heard a funny noise in the bushes, and he stopped short, as Grandfather Goosey Gander’s clock did, when Jimmy Wibblewobble poured molasses in it. Bully looked all around to see what the noise was. “For it might be that alligator, or the Pelican bird,” he whispered to himself.

Just then he heard a jolly laugh, and his brother Bawly hopped out from under a cabbage leaf.

“Did I scare you, Bully?” asked Bawly, as he scratched his right ear with his left foot.

“A little,” said Bully, turning a somersault to get over being frightened.

“Well, I didn’t mean to, and I won’t do it again. But now that you are out of school, come on, let’s go have a game of ball. It’ll be lots of fun,” went on Bawly.

So the two brothers hopped off, and found Billie and Johnnie Bushytail, the squirrels, and Sammie Littletail, the rabbit boy, and some other animal friends, and they had a fine game, and Bawly made a home run.

Now, about this same time, Grandpa Croaker, the nice old gentleman frog, was hopping along through the cool, shady woods, and he was wondering what Mrs. No-Tail would have good for supper.

“I hope she has scrambled watercress with sugar on top,” thought Grandpa, and just then he felt a drop of rain on his back. The sun had suddenly gone under a cloud, and the water was coming down as fast as it could, for April showers bring May flowers, you know. Grandpa Croaker looked up, and, as he did so a drop of rain fell right in his eye! But bless you! He didn’t mind that a bit. He just hopped out where he could get all wet, for he had on his rubber clothes, and he felt as happy as a frog could be.

Frogs love water.

The rain came down harder and harder and the water was running about, all over in the woods, playing tag, and jumping rope, and everything like that, when, all at once, Grandpa Croaker heard a little voice crying:

“Oh, dear! I’ll never get home in all this rain without wetting my new dress and bonnet! Oh, what shall I do?”

“Ha, I wonder if that can be a fairy?” said Grandpa.

“No, I’m not a fairy,” went on the voice. “I’m Nellie Chip-Chip, the sparrow girl, and I haven’t any umbrella.”

“Oh, ho!” exclaimed Grandpa Croaker as he saw Nellie huddled up under a big leaf, “why do you come out without an umbrella when it may rain at any moment? Why do you do it?”

“Oh, I came out today to gather some nice wild flowers for my teacher,” said Nellie. “See, I found some lovely white ones, like stars,” and she held them out so Grandpa could smell them. But he couldn’t without hopping over closer to where the little sparrow girl was.

“I was so interested in the flowers that I forgot all about bringing an umbrella,” went on Nellie, and then she began to cry, for she had on a new blue hat and dress, and didn’t want them to get spoiled by the rain that was splashing all over.

“Oh, don’t cry!” begged Grandpa.

“But I can’t get home without an umbrella,” wailed Nellie.

“Oh, I can soon fix that,” said the old gentleman frog. “See, over there is a nice big toadstool. That will make the finest umbrella in the world. I’ll break it off and bring it to you, and then you can fly home, holding it over your head, in your wing, and then your hat and dress won’t get wet.”

Nellie thanked Grandpa Croaker very kindly and thought what a fine frog gentleman he was. Off he hopped through the rain, never minding it the least bit, and just as he got to the toadstool what do you s’pose he saw? Why, a big, ugly snake was twined around it, just as a grapevine twines around the clothes-post.

“Hello, there!” cried Grandpa. “You don’t need that toadstool at all, Mr. Snake, for water won’t hurt you. I want it for Nellie Chip-Chip, so kindly unwind yourself from it.”

“Indeed, I will not,” spoke the snake, saucily, hissing like a steam radiator on a hot day.

“I demand that you immediately get off that toadstool!” cried Grandpa Croaker in his hoarsest voice, so that it sounded like distant thunder. He hoped to scare the snake.

“I certainly will not get off!” said the snake, firmly, “and what’s more I’m going to catch you, too!” And with that he reached out like lightning and grabbed Grandpa, and wound himself around him and the toadstool also, and there the poor gentleman frog was, tight fast!

“Oh! Oh! You’re squeezing the life out of me!” cried Grandpa Croaker.

“That’s what I intend to do,” spoke the snake, savagely.

“Oh, dear! Oh, dear! What shall I do?” asked Nellie. “Shall I bite his tail, Mr. Frog?”

“No, stay there. Don’t come near him, or he’ll grab you,” called Grandpa Croaker. “Besides you’ll get all wet, for it’s still raining. I’ll get away somehow.” But no matter how hard he struggled Grandpa couldn’t get away from the snake, who was pressing him tighter and tighter against the toadstool.

Poor Grandpa thought he was surely going to be eaten by the mean snake, and Nellie was crying, but she didn’t dare go near the snake, and the snake was laughing and snickering as loud as he could. Oh, he was very impolite! Then, all of a sudden, along hopped Bully and Bawly, the frog boys. The ball game had been stopped on account of the rain, you know.

“Oh, look!” cried Bully. “We must save Grandpa from that snake!”

“We must!” shouted Bawly. “Here, we’ll make him unwind himself from Grandpa and the toadstool and then hit him with our baseball bats.”

So those brave frog boys went quite close to the snake, and that wiggily creature thought he could catch them, and so put out his head to do it. Then Bully and Bawly hopped around the toadstool in a circle, and the snake, keeping his beady, black eyes on them, followed them with his head, around and around, still hoping to catch them, until he finally unwound himself, just like a corkscrew out of a bottle.

Then Bully and Bawly hit him with their baseball bats, and the snake ran away, taking his tail with him, and Grandpa Croaker was free. Then, taking a long breath, for good measure, the old gentleman frog broke off the toadstool and gave it to Nellie Chip-Chip for an umbrella, and the sparrow girl could go home in the rain without getting wet. And Grandpa thanked Bully and Bawly and hopped on home with them.

And, that, my friends, is


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