On a floating lily pad in the middle of a big pond sat a little green frog called Frederick and Frederick was very proud, as all frogs are, of his jumping ability and would croak boastfully to all the other creatures of the pond about just how high he could jump.
The other pond creatures, however, would only laugh and scoff at his claims; particularly the ducks and mallards who, being able to fly, weren’t at all impressed by his jumping.
“Huh!”, said one duck, listening to him boast, “Jumping? What’s so great about that. You only stay up in the air for a little while, flapping your silly legs about and then you crash to earth again”.
But Frederick had rather a high opinion of himself and a rather low opinion of waterfowl, whom he considered common and foolish, and so he took no notice of the ducks comment, besides which he was a frog of great ambition and had his little green heart set on accomplishing the greatest leap ever.
“I’ll show you”, he said, “For I, Frederick the Frog, shall attempt what no other Frog has ever attempted in the history of frog kind. I shall jump to the moon”.
Ofcourse, when they heard Frederick say this, all the other pond creatures just fell about laughing.
Even the swans; normally too refined and too well-mannered to laugh out loud, couldn’t help letting out a chortle.
But that didn’t bother Frederick who was confident that he would show them all and he spent the next week practicing to improve his leaping skills; jumping over logs like hurdles and lifting up heavy pebbles with his legs and all kinds of strenuous leg muscle excercises. He even stuck to a strict high protein diet of daffodils and daisy petals as favoured by all the top jumpers.
Then, when he felt he was in the peak of physical condition, Frederick gathered together all the ducks and fish and all the other creatures of the pond to witness his amazing moonleap.
“You who scoffed and doubted me”, he croaked, “Now prepare to be amazed”.
And, taking a deep breath and concentrating, he crouched down, bending his knees as far as he could, getting ready then, with all the might in his little green body, he leapt; higher and further than he had ever leapt before, higher than the tops of trees that grew beside the pond; higher than the tops of the hills that overlooked it; higher even than the clouds that floated across the sky and then, rushing towards him he saw the moon; bright as silver and round as a ball and getting bigger and bigger and bigger and then – Kerploosh! – he landed, right in the middle a large, golden moon-pond.
“Ha!”, he said, proudly, “I bet they’re not laughing now”.
But then, looking round about him, he saw that the moon was a very empty and deserted place and, though he hopped here and there, searching for life, he couldn’t find another frog or any other kind of creature.
“Oh?”, he said to himself, sadly, “It is very lonely up here on the moon with no one to talk to, not even a silly duck quacking. I do miss my pond and all my friends”.
And, looking down at the Earth, it seemed very small and distant and he wondered if he would ever get back there again.
“Jumping up is one thing”, he thought, “But jumping down again, well that’s another thing entirely. Such a very long way to fall”.
And, frightened and lonely, Frederick wept a little tear that fell all the way down to Earth.
But then, to his surprise, he heard a loud quacking in his left ear and, opening both his eyes, he was amazed to see a host of pond creatures, standing round him in a circle and staring down at him.
“Oh my friends”, he said, happy but quite bewildered, “What are you doing on the moon?”.
“The moon?”, said one of the ducks, giggling, “You silly frog. You’re not on the moon. When you jumped up you hit your head on the branch of a tree and knocked yourself out. You’ve been sleeping for ages and dreaming too by the sound of it”.
Then all the pond creatures laughed but, this time, Frederick laughed with them because, after being all alone on an imaginary moon, Frederick was happy to be back among his friends.