How the Toad Got His Bruises
Once upon a time, ages and ages ago, the toad had a smooth skin. In those days he was a great gad about. He never could be found in his own house. If any one had a party he was sure to go, no matter how far away from home it was held, or how long it took to get there.
One day the toad received an invitation to attend a party in the sky. "You never can get to this party," said his friend, the armadillo. "You know how slowly you travel here upon earth."
"Wait and see whether or not I go to the party," said the toad.
Not far from the toad's house there lived a big black buzzard. No one liked the buzzard. He was very unpopular with all the birds and beasts. The toad hopped over to the buzzard's house. The buzzard was outside the door making music on his violin.
"Good morning, Friend Buzzard," said the toad. "Are you going to attend the party in the sky?"
The buzzard replied that he was planning to go.
"That is good," said the toad. "May I have the pleasure of your company for the trip?"
The buzzard was delighted to have the toad seek his company. It was a new experience.
"I'll be charmed to go to the party with you," replied the buzzard. "What time shall we start?"
"We'll start at four o'clock," said the toad. "Come to my house and we'll go on from there. Be sure to bring your violin with you."
Promptly at four o'clock the buzzard arrived at the toad's house. He had his violin with him, of course, because the toad had asked him to bring it.
"I'm not quite ready to go," the toad called out. "Just leave your violin there by the door and step inside. It will take me only a minute to finish my toilet."
The buzzard laid his violin carefully outside the door and went inside the toad's house. The toad jumped through the window and hid himself inside the violin.
The buzzard waited and waited for the toad to get ready but he did not hear a word from the toad. Finally he got tired of waiting. He picked up his violin and started.
When he arrived at the party he was a trifle late but he explained how he had waited for the toad.
Up to the Top of the Sky, and Down to the Bottom of the Sea
Category: Native American folktales
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