O NCE upon a time there was a frog called Mr. Jeremy Fisher; he lived in a little damp house amongst the buttercups at the edge of a pond.
T HE water was all slippy-sloppy in the larder and in the back passage.
But Mr. Jeremy liked getting his feet wet; nobody ever scolded him, and he never caught a cold!
E was quite pleased when he looked out and
saw large drops of rain, splashing in the
WILL get some worms and go fishing and
catch a dish of minnows for my dinner," said
M R. JEREMY put on a macintosh, and a pair of shiny goloshes; he took his rod and basket, and set off with enormous hops to the place where he kept his boat.
HE boat was round and green, and very like
R. JEREMY took a reed pole, and pushed the
boat out into open water. "I know a good
place for minnows," said
M R. JEREMY stuck his pole into the mud and fastened the boat to it.
Then he settled himself
T HE rain trickled down his back, and for nearly an hour he stared at the float.
"This is getting tiresome, I think I should
like some lunch," said
E punted back again amongst the
"I will eat a butterfly sandwich, and wait
till the shower is over," said
Mr. Jeremy crossed his legs up shorter, out of reach, and went on eating his sandwich.
O NCE or twice something moved about with a rustle and a splash amongst the rushes at the side of the pond.
"I trust that is not a rat," said
M R. JEREMY shoved the boat out again a little way, and dropped in the bait. There was a bite almost directly; the float gave a tremendous bobbit!
"A minnow! a minnow! I have him by the
B UT what a horrible surprise! Instead of a smooth fat minnow, Mr. Jeremy landed little Jack Sharp the stickleback, covered with spines!
T HE stickleback floundered about the boat, pricking and snapping until he was quite out of breath. Then he jumped back into the water.
A ND a shoal of other little fishes put their heads out, and laughed at Mr. Jeremy Fisher.
A ND while Mr. Jeremy sat disconsolately on the edge of his boat—sucking his sore fingers and peering down into the water—a much worse thing happened; a really frightful thing it would have been, if Mr. Jeremy had not been wearing a macintosh!
GREAT big enormous trout came
B UT the trout was so displeased with the taste of the macintosh, that in less than half a minute it spat him out again; and the only thing it swallowed was Mr. Jeremy's goloshes.
M R. JEREMY bounced up to the surface of the water, like a cork and the bubbles out of a soda water bottle; and he swam with all his might to the edge of the pond.
H E scrambled out on the first bank he came to, and he hopped home across the meadow with his macintosh all in tatters.
"W HAT a mercy that was not a pike!" said Mr. Jeremy Fisher. "I have lost my rod and basket; but it does not much matter, for I am sure I should never have dared to go fishing again!"
H E put some sticking plaster on his fingers, and his friends both came to dinner. He could not offer them fish, but he had something else in his larder.
S IR ISAAC NEWTON wore his black and gold waistcoat,
A ND Mr. Alderman Ptolemy Tortoise brought a salad with him in a string bag.
ND instead of a nice dish of minnows—they
had a roasted grasshopper with