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The Toad

"Now I'll be traveling on," said the little Toad, which was always craving for something better.

It saw the stars twinkling, so large and so clear; it saw the new moon shine, and it saw the sun rise higher and higher.

"I think I'm still in a well, but a bigger well. I must get higher up! I feel a restlessness, a longing!" And when the moon was full and round, the poor creature thought, "I wonder if that is the bucket that's let down, and which I must hop into if I want to get higher? Or is the sun the big bucket? How large that is, and how bright! Why, it could hold all of us at once! I must watch for my chance! What a brightness there is in my head! I don't believe the jewel could shine more brightly. But I don't have the jewel, and I shall not cry for it. No; still higher in brightness and happiness! I feel confidence and yet fear. It's a hard step to take, but I must take it. On, further forward! Right on down the road!"

Then it moved along in leaps, as indeed such a creature can, until it reached the highway where humans lived. Here were both flower gardens and vegetable gardens. It stopped to rest by a cabbage garden.

"How many different beings there are that I've never known of! And how great and blessed the world is! But you must keep looking about you, instead of always sitting in the same place." And so it hopped into the cabbage garden. "How green it is here! How pretty it is here!"

"That I well know," said the Caterpillar on a cabbage leaf. "My leaf is the largest one here; it covers half the world, and the rest of the world I can do without!"

"Cluck! Cluck!" said somebody, and hens came hopping into the garden.

The first Hen was farsighted; she spied the worm on the curly leaf and pecked at it so that it fell to the ground, where it lay twisting and turning. The Hen looked at it first with one eye and then with the other, for she couldn't figure out what would become of that wriggling.

"It isn't doing that of its own accord," thought the Hen, and she raised her head to strike again.

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