Once upon a time, in the middle of a very large forest where his family had lived for hundreds of years, a little green frog sat in the middle of a very little puddle.
Jay’s father was the puddle mayor and his mother was the president of all the high society puddle events. Jay felt overshadowed by his parent’s success. He felt his skin wasn’t green enough and his skinny back legs weren’t nearly as long as his little frog buddies. Worst of all, when he tried to say “GRIVVETT,” like the other frogs, it came out more like “gratch-itch,” which was perfectly humiliating, particularly when Linda was near.
Linda was the most beautiful young lady frog in the puddle. At night all the young boy frogs gathered by her lily pad. Every young boy frog tried to impress her and “GRIVVETTS” could be heard far and wide. Linda was not impressed with any of her suitors. She looked neither left nor right as the “GRIVVETS” echoed across the forest. She sat quietly on her lily pad with her eyes nearly shut, ignoring everyone.
Day after day, Jay watched sadly from the edge of the puddle as the young frogs serenaded Linda. He was convinced that Linda would laugh if he opened his mouth and tried to speak. The only thing he could say was “gratch--itch.” He would sooner die than embarrass himself, his important father and his socialite mother.
Jay sighed. A big tear rolled from his little frog-eye and dropped into the pond. The tear rippled across the pond, circling outward in ever-increasing rings until it lapped across Linda’s orange frog-toes. Her eyes popped open wide. She searched the pond until her glance fell on Jay sitting in the mud. The hint of a smile played across her black voluptuous frog-lips.
Jay’s heart pounded within his bumpy chest. “Oh joy! Oh jubilation.” He leaped and his skinny back legs took him higher into the air than he had every jumped before. KERPLOP! He landed in the middle of the puddle, halfway between shore and his beloved Linda. His head broke the surface and he opened his mouth for a breath. Linda fluttered her long frog eyelashes. She slipped seductively from her lily pad into the water and in a flash she was at his side. They gazed into each other’s bright red eyes. The water churned and they were soon on the opposite side of the pond.
“GRIVVETT” said Linda, “Why did you wait so long?” and Jay blushed and answered “GRATCH-ITCH, I didn’t think you cared.”
The frogs in the next pond croaked and Jay’s community echoed a reply. Father nodded his head knowingly toward mother. Bees buzzed around the flowers and they opened their blossoms to embrace the sun. Birds began to sing a melody.
The next day, Father held a board meeting. Mother presided over a high society puddle event because they were both very important frogs. But this morning, Jay held his head a little higher. His eyes shined a little brighter. His skin took on a healthier shade of green and his feet never looked so orange before. The young frogs in the puddle held him in higher regard. Linda’s love had made him the frog he is today.
Love inspires a frog to accomplish great deeds. It makes him hop a little higher, makes his skin a little greener and makes him a leader of frogs. Linda smiled shyly as she hopped around the pond by Jay’s side. She knew that inside every little green frog beats the heart of a leader and inside every great leader beats the heart of a little green frog. She knew that under his sallow green skin, Jay had always been a winner.
Jay stood up to speak. The pond grew hushed. Fathers pulled off their hats. Mothers hushed their tadpoles and pollywogs. The birds stopped singing. The wind ceased to blow. The sun came out from behind a gray cloud. Jay straightened up to his tallest frog self, and began to speak. For the first time ever, he said, “GRIVVETT!” and everybody cheered.