Mistaken Identity

WORDS TO USE: shoe – yogurt – toad – badminton – blurry

Toby hopped from the pond and blinked; his vision blurry for a second.

Loud laughter, children’s giggles, and crazed cheering had drawn him from the water. It was usually quiet here except when the humans in this housing area had one of their neighborhood picnics. Evidently, this was one of those days.

He hazarded a few hops closer to the edge of the tall grass and rocks surrounding his pond. The ducks who normally hung out on the water or around the pond had fled from the chaos. Not him. He was a very curious toad. His mother had always told him that it would get him into trouble one day. But he hadn’t believed her then and still didn’t.

A child ran by, slipping on the grass. Toby’s heart raced as a shoe nearly squashed him. Then the little boy found his footing and raced back toward the other kids chasing each other.

“That was way out of bounds!” someone yelled.

“Was not!” someone else yelled back, laughing.

Toby hopped even farther from the safety of his pond, drawn magnetically to the action. There was this net thing stretched between poles close to the picnic tables. A half dozen people stood on each side of the net holding odd-shaped bats. They swatted a small white-winged thing back and forth across the net. Until it flew way off to the side of their play area.

“That was definitely out of bounds!” a woman cried.

“Just go get the birdie, Helen,” a man next to her ordered. “Another point, and we’ll win this badminton game.”

Ah, so that was what they were doing. Playing a game called badminton.

Bored watching that, Toby looked around for something else of interest. He spotted a small container somebody had tossed down beside one of the benches on the path around the pond. What was that?

He hopped quickly toward it. When he stopped to study his discovery, he noted a strange smell. He didn’t know what it was, something sour yet sweet. Weird.

Curiosity driving him, he used his tongue to taste whatever it was in the partially filled container. He took a quick hop backward a second later, croaking in disgust. Yuck! Yuck! Yuck!

“Hey, guys, look what I found!” the boy who had almost squashed him yelled. “A frog! And he’s eating someone’s yogurt. Gross.”

Toby didn’t wait for the other kids to come closer. He stretched out his legs and hopped lightning fast to the safety of his pond. As he flung himself into the murky water, he glanced toward the boy and croaked, “Toad! I’m a toad! Not a stupid frog.”

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