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Animal Stories: Timothy The Tadpole

Timothy the tadpole learns and important lesson when he meets his uncle Bob the frog.

Graham Whitcroft brings another entertaining children’s tale which contains a most important message.

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Timothy was a tadpole. He was playing Hide and Seek with his friends Tom, Tilly and Owen, in the pond that was their home. With his face to a stone and his eyes closed, he shouted, “Coming, ready or not”.

Timothy began searching for his friends by swimming between the stones and weeds. He knew all their favourite hiding places but they weren’t to be found in any of them. It was then that it happened. He was just emerging from a cave that they used as their den, when he came eye to eye with a huge, slimy green monster. Timothy was terrified and was about to swim away as fast as he possibly could when the monster caught him by the tail.

“Hello” said the monster, “I’m Bob the frog, in fact, I’m your uncle Bob”.

“Uncle!” exclaimed Timothy, “I didn’t know I had an uncle – certainly not an uncle that is as big or as slimy or as green as you are”.

“Ah” replied Bob, “I guess that’s because it’s the first time you’ve met a grown-up tadpole. I’ve just come from up there” said Bob pointing upwards “and I’ve come to get you ready for your new life.”

“I’m quite happy with the one I’ve got, thank you very much” said Timothy, “so please let go of my tail and let me find my friends.”

“Not until I’ve prepared you for the future. You see it won’t be long young Tim before your tail drops off and you’ll grow some legs – just like mine. When you do, you must climb one of these reeds’ and he pointed to some long thin leaves that stretched as far as the eye could see ‘and climb to the surface”

“What’s ‘the surface?” asked Timothy.

“It’s what separates your world from mine. Mine is a wonderful world, full of things beyond your imagination. Creatures such as rabbits that run through the green grass, and trees that grow in the fields; lots of different things to eat like flies and slugs (at this Bob licked his lips); blue skies and white clouds, and houses where human beings live. Your Mum and Dad are there too.”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about Uncle Bob. What is a rabbit or grass or trees. I have no idea what you mean by flies and slugs, skies, clouds, houses or human beings. I didn’t even know I had a Mum and Dad. Now let go of my tail”.

“I will let you go” said Bob, “as long as you promise to do what I tell you. Remember, when your body changes, climb to the top of that reed. Promise?”

Reluctantly, Timothy said, “O.K., I promise”.

With that, Bob let go of Timothy’s tail and swam off at speed.

Timothy sat there thinking, his head full of new thoughts. He was amazed that he’d met a frog who happened to be his uncle, and at the same time, a little afraid of the message Bob had brought.

He was deep in thought when Thomas, Tilly and Owen arrived. “And where have you been?” asked Tilly, “we’ve got a little bored waiting for you to find us. What have you been doing?”

So, Timothy proceeded to tell them about his strange visit from a frog.

When he had finished his tale, Tilly said, “Ooo doesn’t it sound exciting?”

“I’m not so sure’ muttered Owen, ‘It all makes me more than a little bit scared – I’m terrified”.

“Huh’ said Tom, ‘stuff and nonsense. This monster of yours, this frog, is all in your imagination Tim and whoever heard of another world, particularly one as strange as that. Come on Tim, pull the other fin. Now let’s start again. It’s my turn this time. I’ll count to one hundred, then I’ll come and find you.” But by this time the others had lost interest and gone to their homes.

Some weeks later, while they were feeding among the weeds, Tilly noticed that she’d lost her tail. It was only as Owen inspected her tail-less backside that he became aware that his was missing too while Timothy was just in time to see a passing fish snatch at his tail as it floated away and eat it. Tom hadn’t noticed any of this. He was too busy looking for his own tail on the bottom of the pond. Then, all four of them watched each other as little legs began to appear at each corner of their bodies.

“You know what’s happening don’t you?’ said Tim, ‘we’re changing”

“Isn’t it exciting?” said Tilly.

“No’ said Owen.

“Stuff and nonsense” said Tom.

“Come on’ encouraged Tim, remembering the words of Uncle Bob,
‘follow me”.

Tim, followed eagerly by Tilly, nervously by Owen and reluctantly by Tom, looked for a reed that disappeared way above them, and with their new legs began to climb. Up and up and up they went, until all they knew of the pond disappeared below them. Up and up they went until the water broke over their heads and they looked around them at green grass and trees, houses and flowers.

“And who is that?’ asked Timothy. It was Uncle Bob. ‘And who are those other two frogs with him?”

Can you guess?

“It’s true!” exclaimed Tim.

“How exciting” said Tilly.

“It doesn’t look at all scary” said Owen.

The words Tom spoke were not the sort you put in a story like this one, but he was very surprised!


(John 20:29)


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