Photo CC by studio tdes
It took a while, but I wrote a narrative about “What if there was an old frog, who couldn’t swim anymore, which he used to do for pleasure, so decided instead to read a book?”
There once was an old frog who loved to swim in his home, a pond in the Vast Forest. “Woopee!” he would shout as he splashed around in the refreshing water. But one day the frog woke up to find his beloved home, the pond, holding half of the water it had the day before. He hopped off of his lilly pad and into the water, but his long legs touched the bottom of the pond and he began to sink in the murky mud. “This will not do!” Mr. Frog declared. Immediately, he sprang to the giant oak tree, the home of Mr. Owl, the wise teacher. After explaining his situation to Mr. Owl, Mr. Owl sat in thought.
Finally, he said, “This dilemma is beyond my years of experience and learning. You will have to seek your answer elsewhere.”
“But who do I turn to?!” Mr. Frog cried in desperation.
Mr. Owl flew to where his amphibious friend was standing and turned him around towards the outside world. “The answer you seek shall come from the pages of a book. Your journey lies this way. Find what is called a library and your answer will surely become apparent.”
So Mr. Frog went on his way and journeyed through the forest. Each day the trees of the forest became less dense and he met fewer animals. At last, Mr. Frog saw a whole other world with buildings taller than even Mr. Owl’s great oak home and cars moving faster than even the speediest fox. He thought to himself, “This must be where the library that Mr. Owl spoke of exists.” He wandered through the town, hopping from building to building, searching for one with volumes of books. Eventually, Mr. Frog began to worry that he might never find it. But right as his fears began to surface, Mr. Frog found what he was looking for: a grand building with marble stairs and giant columns. He could barely make out the word ‘library’ carved into the mile high peak of the building. Excitedly, Mr. Frog leaped inside. Once in, he found book shelf after book shelf. There was no end to it! He explored this wondrous building, searching for a book that would contain a solution to the sinking pond. He read through each binding’s title desperately. “Band of Brothers, no. To Kill a Mockingbird, this might help Mrs. Snake, but not me. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, nope, not what I’m looking for.” He made it from book to book, shelf to shelf but no titles seemed to fit what he needed. Suddenly, Mr. Frog was literally bouncing off the walls! “A Guide to Lakes and Ponds! This is perfect; it’s just what I need!” He read the book cover to cover as quickly as his froggy eyes could. Once he reached the final page, he knew what had to be done to save the pond. He checked the book out at the counter (boy was the librarian startled! She had never served a frog before!) and he hopped all the way back into the forest with it. He passed by his home – which was even murkier and shallower than when he had left – and went straight to Mr. Owl’s giant oak tree. “I’ve found the solution!” he cried as he somersaulted through the entryway.
“And?” Mr. Owl inquired.
“The pond is losing water because your tree’s roots have reached too far! They are sucking up all of the water!”
“What do we do?!” Mr. Owl asked nervously.
“This book suggests that we cut it down.” he replied. “But it’s your home and a landmark of our forest. So, instead, I think that with a little help we can push the roots away and then do what’s known as irrigating. If we move some water from the pond to the tree, it will get enough to continue to grow and be happy, but it won’t drink up all of the water and drain the pond. It’s simple, really!” explained Mr. Frog.
Relieved with this solution, Mr. Owl helped Mr. Frog bring together a team of animals. Mrs. Bear gently pushed the roots away from the pond while Mr. and Mrs. Fish and their children helped direct her. The Jack Rabbit family dug a long trench from the pond to the base of the giant oak which would carry just enough water to it to drink. It took many weeks, but with the plan complete and several good rains, the pond was back to its old, healthy self.
Looking at their accomplishment, Mr. Owl said to Mr. Frog, “Your accomplishment will forever be known to all of the animals in the forest.”
Mr. Frog said in reply, “Then let it be also known that whenever a problem is at hand, a solution surely lies in the pages of a good book.”