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The Toad

"Now what could there be outside? Since I've come this far I might as well go farther." So it crept as fast as it could, until it came out into the road, where the sun shone on it; and then it was powdered with dust as it hopped across the road.

"Here one is really on dry land," said the Toad. "I'm getting almost too much of a good thing; it tickles right through me!"

Now it reached a ditch, where grew forget-me-nots and meadowsweet, while beyond it was a hedge of white thorn and elderbushes, with convolvulus creeping and hanging about it. What vivid colors there were to see here! And here flew a butterfly, too. The Toad thought it was a flower that had torn itself loose in order to get a better look at the world; that, of course, was very reasonable.

"If I could only move about like that!" said the Toad. "Croak! Oh! How glorious!"

For eight days and nights its remained by the ditch and felt no want of food. Then on the ninth day it thought, "Oh, forward." But was there anything more beautiful to be found anywhere? Perhaps a little toad or some green frogs; there had been a sound in the wind the night before which had seemed to indicate there were cousins in the neighborhood.

"It's wonderful to be alive! To come up out of that well and lie in the bed of nettles, to creep along and hop across the dusty road and rest in the wet ditch! But on, further forward! I must find frogs or a little toad; one can't do without companions, after all. Nature alone isn't enough for one!" And so it started its wanderings again.

In a field, it came to a large pond with rushes around it, and it went exploring in there.

"It's too wet for you in here, isn't it?" said the frog inside. "But you're quite welcome. Are you a he or a she? Not that it matters; you're equally welcome in either case."

And so it was invited to a concert that evening, a family concert, with a lot of gaiety and feeble voices; we all know that sort of affair. There were no refreshments, except free drinks - the whole pond, if they could drink it.

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