The Frog-Hoppers Go Out into the World
LONG the upper edge of the meadow and in the corners of the
rail fence there grew
It may have been because the
Nobody knows why they should have been called Frog-Hoppers, unless it was because when you look them in the face they seem a very little like tiny Frogs. To be sure, they have six legs, and teeth on the front pair, as no real Frog ever thought of having. Perhaps it was only a nickname because their own name was so long and hard to speak.
The golden-rod was beginning to show small
These four little Frog-Hoppers did not know how lucky they
were, and that, you know, happens very often when people
have not seen others lonely or unhappy. They supposed that
One morning the oldest Frog-Hopper brother thought that the
sap pumped very hard. It may be that it did pump hard, and
it may be that he was tired or lazy. Anyway, he began to
grumble and find fault. "This is the worst stalk of
He was quite right in saying that it was the worst stalk he
had ever seen, because he had never seen any other, but he
was much mistaken in saying
that it didn't pay to pump sap,
and as for saying that "it didn't pay, so there!" we all
know that when insects begin to talk in that way the best
thing to do is to leave them
quite alone until they are
The other Frog-Hopper children couldn't leave him alone, because they hadn't changed their skins for the last time. They had to stay in their foam until that was done. After the big brother spoke in this way, they all began to wonder if the sap didn't pump hard. Before long the big sister wiggled impatiently and said, "My beak is dreadfully tired."
Then they all stopped eating and began to talk. They called their home stuffy, and said there wasn't room to turn around in it without hitting the foam. They didn't say why they should mind hitting the foam. It was soft and clean, and always opened up a way when they pushed against it.
"I tell you what!" said the big brother, "after I've changed
my skin once more and gone out into the great world, you
won't catch me hanging around this old
"Nor me!" "Nor me!" "Nor me!" said the other young Frog-Hoppers.
"I wonder what the world is like," said the little sister.
"Is it just bigger foam and bigger
"Huh!" exclaimed her big brother. "What lots you know! If I didn't know any more than that about it, I'd keep still and not tell anybody." That made her feel badly, and she didn't speak again for a long time.
Then the little brother spoke. "I didn't know you had ever been out into the world," he said.
"No," said the big brother, "I suppose
you didn't. There are
lots of things you don't know." That made him feel badly,
and he went off into the farthest corner of the foam and
stuck his head in between a
For a long time nobody spoke, and then the big sister said, "I wish you would tell us what the world is like."
The big brother knew no more about the world than the other
children, but after he had been cross and put on airs he
didn't like to tell the truth. He might have known that he
would be found out, yet he held up his head and answered: "I
don't suppose that I can tell you so that you will
understand, because you have never seen it. There are lots
of things there—whole lots of them—and it is very big.
Some of the things are like
This was very interesting and made the little sister forget
to pout and the little brother come out of his
It was not long after this that the young
When they had left their foam and their
Then the big brother would answer: "Yes, I did. That is one
of the things
which I said were not like either
For a while they met only Crickets, Ants, Grasshoppers, and
"Oh, see!" cried the others. "There is somebody with only four legs, and he doesn't look as though he ever had any more. Why, Brother, what does this mean? You said everybody had six."
At this moment the Tree Frog opened his eyes a little and
his mouth a great deal, and shot out his quick tongue. When
he shut his mouth again, the big brother of the