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The Toad

Whereupon the Toad became so frightened that it bumped right into the Hen.

"So that thing has auxiliary troops to fight for it!" she said. "Just look at that vermin!" Then the Hen turned away. "I don't care about that little green mouthful; it would only tickle my throat!" The other hens agreed with her, and so away they went.

"I got away from her with my wriggling," said the Caterpillar. "It's good to keep your presence of mind, but the hardest job is ahead - to get back up onto my cabbage leaf. Where is it?"

Then the little Toad came forward to sympathize. It was happy that its own ugliness had frightened away the Hen.

"What makes you think that?" asked the Caterpillar. "I wriggled away from her myself. You're indeed very unpleasant to look at! Let me get back to my own place. Now I can smell cabbage; I'm near my own leaf! There's nothing so beautiful as one's own. But I must get up higher."

"Yes, higher!" said the little Toad. "Higher up! It feels just as I do, but it isn't in a good humor today, because of its fright. We all want to get up higher!" And it looked up as high as it could.

A stork sat in his nest on the roof of the farmhouse; he clattered and the stork mother clattered.

"How high up they live!" thought the Toad. "If only I could get up there!"

In the farmhouse lived two young students; one was a poet, the other a naturalist. The one sang and wrote with gladness of all that God had created, as it was mirrored in his heart; he sang of it in short, clear, and rich, imposing verses. The other took hold of the creation itself, yes, and took it apart when it needed analyzing. He treated our Lord's work like a great piece of arithmetic; subtracted, multiplied, wanted to know it outside and inside, and to talk of it with intelligence, with complete understanding; and yet he talked of it with gladness and with wisdom. They were good, happy people, both of them.

"Why, there is a good specimen of a toad," said the Naturalist. "I must have it to preserve in alcohol!

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