Doing What You Can

Sometimes it is easy to find yourself in trouble when you don’t expect to be. Sometimes, when we face a new situation, we don’t know what to do, simply because we have never had to face it before. That’s what happened to Ms. Teresa Frog. When she was small, everyone used to call her Little Tessie Tadpole. Now that she was bigger she preferred Ms. Teresa Frog.
Ms. Teresa Frog lived in a pond on a farm. She was a rather adventurous young frog who liked to go exploring. Some described her as nosy, or a “sticky beak.” Her mother often told her she stuck her nose in where she shouldn’t. “Mark my words,” her mother would say. “One day you will be in big trouble.” But Teresa had to explore. She just had to discover things she didn’t know.
After all, it was fun to leave her pond and go hopping around the farmyard. It was always fun to watch the comical chickens busily scratching and pecking their way around the coop. She wouldn’t like to be confined like them, she thought to herself.
She had discovered that visiting the pigpen nearly always gave her the chance to catch a plump fly or two. There were so many around that the quick flick of her long tongue almost always guaranteed a meal.
One particular day, Ms. Teresa Frog (formerly known as Little Tessie Tadpole) was hopping past the dairy when she smelled the fresh fragrance of cream. Following her nose, she found the tempting smell coming from a bucket on the floor. Wanting to taste the cream, she jumped toward the rim of the bucket but didn’t leap quite high enough. She tried again, putting in all her effort. This time she overdid it, leaping right over the rim and landing in the lush cream with a soft plop.
The cream was thick and warm. It felt so much nicer than swimming in her cold pond. Even better, it tasted good to drink. She flicked out her long tongue, lapping up several rich mouthfuls.But, after playing for a while and drinking her fill, Ms. Teresa Frog thought it was time to head back to her home in the pond. This was when her trouble began.
You see, Ms. Teresa Frog hadn’t thought very far ahead. She’d thought about getting into the bucket but she hadn’t given any thought to getting out of the bucket. The sides were steep, her cream-covered feet were too slippery to get a grip, and she couldn’t just leap over the rim. She was stuck, felt helpless, and didn’t know what to do.
She could just go on swimming, she told herself. But, although she might enjoy herself for a while, that wouldn’t fix her problem. She could wait for someone to come and rescue her, but that might be a long time and, if the farmer found her, he might not be too happy about finding a frog who had just visited the pigpen swimming in his cream. If she gave up and stopped, she might drown. Oh dear, it all felt too tough for poor little Ms. Teresa Frog.
Not knowing what to do, she did the only thing that she could do: She kept swimming. She swam round and round in the cream, doing the frog kick, as frogs tend to do. She kicked and she kicked. She kicked and she kicked. Then she kicked some more. Ms. Teresa Frog was determined that she wasn’t going to give up and drown. She had to keep going, so she kicked and kicked some more. As she did, she started to notice that it was becoming harder and harder to swim through the cream. At first she thought she was just getting tired, but then she realized that the cream itself was becoming thicker. Her kicking was turning the cream into butter!
With this, her hope was restored and she swam harder and stronger, continuing to circle round and round in the bucket until the butter became so firm that she could stand on it and leap… right over the rim of the bucket. Tired as she was, she joyfully bounced back to the pond. As she bathed in the pond, washing the butter off her body, Ms. Teresa Frog thought to herself, “I’ve always liked cream, but I love butter better.”

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