Once upon a time there were three frogs. There was Fred Frog, Freda Frog and Ferdie Frog. And they sat there in the middle of the pond on the biggest lily that you ever could see. Knee-deep, knee-deep, knee-deep.

Now, Fred Frog said to Freda Frog, “Why don’t we jump over to the edge of the pond, where there are some other nice lilies. It’s a nice day, and we can bask in the sun there.” And Freda agreed. But they both agreed that they would sneak off without letting Ferdie Frog know where they were going. So they quietly slipped off the lily in the middle of the pond, and ever so quietly went off to the lilies at the edge of the pond. Knee-deep, knee-deep.

Now unbeknown to Fred and Freda, Ferdie Frog had heard what they had said. He was upset about being left out of the adventure. But in a way he was pleased he hadn’t been asked. Because he knew that a big cat lived close by to the edge of the pond, and he’d seen the cat just where those lilies, that Fred and Freda had been talking about, were. And Ferdie knew that the cat, with one swipe of his paw, could grab hold of anything sitting on those lilies. But Ferdie decided that because he wasn’t invited, he would keep that all to himself. He certainly wasn’t going to call out to Fred and Freda, and warn them of the danger. Not, if they were going to leave him out of their adventure. Knee-deep.

Now once Fred and Freda got to the lilies at the edge of the pond, they felt guilty that they hadn’t invited Ferdie; that they’d left him all on his own. But still the lilies were nice and padded, and very comfortable. So Freda and Freda soon settled down, and started to sun themselves in the warm afternoon sun. Knee-deep, knee-deep.

When all of a sudden… swipe! Fred was no longer on the lily. In fact he was nowhere to be seen. Miaow. Swipe! All of a sudden Freda wasn’t there either. In fact there was no sign that either of them had been there. Miaow.

Now two hours later, back in the middle of the pond, Ferdie Frog was feeling lonely. He knew nothing of what had happened to Fred and Freda, but he was starting to feel very worried. Fred and Freda had been gone some time now, and he hadn’t heard a peep (or even a knee-deep come to that) for a while. And although Fred and Freda had deliberately left him behind, he was feeling guilty that he had done nothing to warn them of the cat. And now… well, he was too scared to go and see what had happened. Knee-deep.

Imagine Ferdie’s surprise, then, when moments later he felt two plops beside him. Fred and Freda reappeared, a little shaken but physically unharmed from their adventure. Knee-deep, knee-deep.

Of course, Ferdie was overjoyed to see Fred and Freda. But at the same time he was curious to know what had happened. So in no time, Fred, Freda and Ferdie settled down to hear the story of the adventure. And to cut a long story short (for those of you who want to know) it appears that Fred and Freda had both seen the cat’s paw coming. And each had jumped just at the right time to miss being swiped by his paw. They had then hidden in the reeds close by, until the cat had gone away. Ferdie then admitted that he had known about the cat and that he was sorry he hadn’t told them. And that because they had left him out of the adventure he had decided not to warn them.

But you know, despite how they had treated each other, Fred, Freda and Ferdie made up with each other that night. It was clear that they needed each other. Their world was a dangerous place, and a lonely place too. They couldn’t afford to be without each other.

So, just as this story began “Once upon a time…” so it ends “And they all lived happily ever after.” Knee-deep, knee-deep, knee-deep.

You know the moral of this story is that we all need each other. Yes we may have times when we deliberately exclude others from the things that we do. And yes, we may have times when we fail to tell others of the dangers in life. But in reality we need other people, and they need us too.

Now if Fred and Freda had understood that, then they might have invited Ferdie on their little adventure. And if Ferdie had understood that, then he would have warned Fred and Freda of the cat. They had to learn their lessons the hard way. But the question for us is, “Do we have to learn our lessons the hard way too?”


© 2015, Brian A Curtis