The Bird and the Toad
The Baby Bird Desired to Swim and Catch a Toad for Dinner
Alongside a pond in a far away land stood a tall banana tree, in the millpond lived many toads. They swam back and forth, eating banana leaves and rested on the smooth stones. Hungry birds ran to the pond to bath and catch a bit of sun by the crystal waters.
One baby bird was hungrier than all the rest. He could not eat enough bananas and longed to savor a toasty toad. The young bird watched the colorful toads for a lengthy time.
Then he said to his mom: “I’d like to swim in the pond and catch a toad for dinner.”
“How could you eat a toad? You don’t even know how to swim and the water is deep.”
“I may not know how to swim; except, I am smarter than these silly toads. All they do every day is spin back and forth and nothing else.”
For days the small bird ran to the pond to study the toads. He sat and keenly watched them as he pondered how to catch one without diving into the water.
The Hungry Bird Picked a Little Toad
Then he noticed one toad that was slower than all the others. For some reason this toad would swim with his tiny arms and not use his legs. At times, he’d rest on a banana leaf to catch his breath. “This is the one I want, he said to his mom.”
“Well, go for it, she said; however, I guarantee it’s not going to be as simple as you think.
The little bird gathered as many banana leaves; he could muster to make a small pile by the bank of the pond. He hoped the toad would rest on it one day so he could catch him with his ruff claws.
“Little Toad,” he cried. “Would you come with me to this outstretched banana tree that has a large branch to catch a fly?”
“Oh, yes, said the toad. But will you have to come over here first.”
“How can I come to you, I do not know how to swim!”
The Helpless Bird Learned to Float
“I’ll teach you,” said the toad.
“Wow, said the bird?”
“First, place your feet in the water and I’ll show you how to paddle and float.”
The bird was eager to eat the toad, so he jumped into the water and landed on the banana pile he had created for the toad. Frightened, he hesitantly called out to the toad and his mother for help.
His mom came running to the pond and could not believe her little beck was in the yawning waters unattended! She did not want to startle him and so she sat by the bank waiting to see what the toad would do next. The toad told the bird to hold his breath and wiggle his feet. Surprisingly, the bird listened to the toad and did not drown at first. He simply floated on top of the water! “Wow, thought the bird, this silly toad really taught me something useful today. I wouldn’t feel right eating him now.”
The bird caught a glimpse of his mom and called out to her. “Look, mom, I’m floating.”
The Little Bird Was Eager to Eat the Mottled Toad
That’s fabulous, however, how are you going to get onto parched land?”
“I don’t know, nevertheless, I guess the toad will show me. Just then he lost his footing and started to sink. “Help, help, he cried out”
Bursting out into a loud snigger, the spotty toad grabbed him by his long ears and dragged him out of the water. “You silly bird, your aspirations are too big for you. You must learn how to paddle before you can learn how to swim.”
“I’m sorry, little toad, I was so eager to eat you, I didn't think of the consequences”.
“Besides, birds don’t eat toads’ ever, son, because we don’t like the way they taste, said his mom with relief.
The Bird Decided to Befriend the Toad Instead
The little bird chose to befriend the toad instead of trying to define quaint ways to devour him. Every day he joyfully hopped into the pond to play with the toad. They became fine friends and the toad never tried to eat a banana leaf.
"That’s bird food, I prefer to stumble on fresh live insects in the pond, said the toad happily.”
Hilarious Bird Speaks to You
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© 2014 Sheila Craan
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