Splook and Freyda wove in between the trees, hopping more like jackrabbits than frogs. But even with all their speed, it took them nearly half an hour to get back to the swamp’s edge. They had no trouble finding the lily pads, however, and the bright purple hue of the surfboard-paddles stood out boldly against the brownish green muck that covered almost everything else.
Splook held the lily pad steady while Freyda hopped on, then jumped aboard himself.
“Come on; Paddle as fast as you can,” Splook urged Freyda. They pushed off from the swamp bank as quickly as they could, just sure that Margalo would be coming after them- and soon!
The minutes inched by slowly. Splook’s arms were getting tired from paddling; surely they must be getting close to being home.
“Are we almost there yet, Splook?” Freyda asked. “I’m tired… and hungry…”
“I don’t know,” said Splook. “Do you know, Mr. SuperFrog?” he asked. No answer. Wait… Mr. SuperFrog! He hadn’t seen him in awhile.
“Have you seen Mr. SuperFrog, Freyda?” Splook asked her.
“No, Splook.” She said. “Could we have left him back on the island?” Splook thought. Freyda echoed his question out loud.
“I sure hope not, Freyda,” he said. He thought about the possibility for a minute. Well…
“Maybe he fell in the water, Splook” Freyda said sadly. Splook’s mouth sagged. He hadn’t thought of that! But… If he had fallen into the water, Splook wouldn’t have to worry about it. He knew that SuperFrog was a good swimmer. He felt a little better.
“Hey, look, Splook!” Freyda shouted abruptly. “I think I see our tree from here.”
Margalo Gator paced back and forth. He was trying to come up with something to tell Mrs. Gator that would make up for the missing frogs… But could think of nothing that would work. He finally decided to tell her that he hadn’t been paying attention, and they had escaped.
Andorra was hungry. She was so hungry, in fact, that it was making her grumpy. And a grumpy alligator is not a very pleasant sight- something that Margalo knew very, very well! Andorra waddled on her stubby legs into the clearing, and was made even grumpier by the sight she saw- the frogs were gone! She let out a low rumbling sound… Grrrrruuuuuhh!!! Margalo jumped when he heard his wife- she was really angry! He rushed- as well as an alligator is able- to her.
“What is the matter, my Dear?” Margalo tried to pacify her.
“Gruhh… The matter? Oh, I’ll tell you what’s the matter! My lunch is gone and I am hungry!”
“There, there, dear. I’m sorry the frogs got away-”
“You let them get away??” Andorra roared.
“Well- not exactly- you see…” Margalo tried to explain.
“Never mind why they got away!” Andorra growled. She was so hungry now, that she didn’t even care! “Just go get me some lunch.”
Margalo headed for the swamp’s edge. He had decided that he would catch her some fish. Fish and frogs tasted nearly the same, anyway,- didn’t they? He swished his tail in frustration.
Clunk! Margalo hit something. He turned to look at it, and saw- Splook’s toy! And Freyda’s jar! The small frogs’ things lay all over the ground… binoculars, a notebook….. and, a net! “Good.” thought Margalo. “I can use the net to catch Andorra’s fishes.”
“Ugh” The bugs were quite bad, on this part of the island. They swarmed in Margalo’s eyes, and when he breathed, they got stuck in his nose. He grabbed Splook’s net off the ground and swatted at the flies. They got stuck in the net. He shook the net to get them off, and knocked over the jar. The lid was laying beside it, so he screwed it back onto the jar. He set it down next to a dirty, stuffed frog, and was about to start fishing for his wife’s supper, when he got an idea…