200 Words, Real Fast

Bedtime story. THE DARING FROGGIE. Ready? Here we go.

Once upon a time on the border of a brook

A wicked little froggie who had never read a book —

(Yes I know it’s a poem, and that frogs can’t actually read. Poems are more concise. Concise means they get to the point faster. Okay, you’re right, it does mean short.)

Who had never read a story or a funny little rhyme,

Had a sad and tragic ending once upon a time.

(No of course I’m not trying to make you have nightmares! The froggie was wicked, remember? When wicked things have sad and tragic endings that’s a good thing isn’t it? And don’t you get tired of all those happily ever afters? I know I do.)

The little froggie, sad to say, was very fond of flies,

And thought on this unlucky day that he had found a prize.

(Please, do not feel sorry for the fly. For all we know he was wicked too. And the frog is only doing what frogs do. What, do you want him to just sit there on his lily pad and starve to death?)

“Up, up I go,” said Froggie; “I can climb as well as hop;

I only hope he stays right there until I reach the top.

(I don’t know why he didn’t just use his long tongue – perhaps he was out of range. Those things don’t reach clear across ponds as far as I know. But yes, it WOULD be cool if they did.)

“I wish this wouldn’t bend so much” said Froggie, going higher:

“I wish that flies would shut their eyes and come a little nigher.

But he is such a good one and he looks so very fine,

I think that I must have him, for it’s time for me to dine.”

(Well, if I told you at the beginning he was going to fall off a leaf it would have totally ruined all the excitement and suspense! Just listen – we’re almost done.)

So up he went, regardless of the danger he was in;

He saw a duck below him, but he didn’t care a pin’

But suddenly behind his back the reed began to crack,

And all he heard was just one word, and that one word was


(Why are you saying Eewwww? The duck was just doing what ducks do! No, I don’t think it’s a good idea to tell your teacher a story about how a bad guy gets eaten by a duck. Although, yes, I agree that would make a more thrilling story. )

(No, I don’t want to tell you another one, our two minutes are up. Well, the two-minute rule – um, that would be the bedtime story sheriff who came up with that one, and we don’t want him showing up here to enforce that rule, do we?)

(No, not being able to read doesn’t make you wicked. It’s time to turn out the light, okay? Okay. Goodnight. I love you too.)

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