The Weasel and
the Frogs, from
"I think the weasel is a mean, wicked murderer," said Harry, as he came
rushing into his mother's room, his face flushed and his little fists
clinched tight together: "My white rabbit lies all in a little dead heap
in his house, and Mike, the gardener, says the weasel has killed him. He
saw it prowling round the barn last night, and why he didn't set a trap
and catch it I don't see."
Mamma put aside her sewing, and went to comfort Harry, who began to cry
bitterly for the loss of his pet.
"Poor Bunny!" said mamma; "he should not have been left out when Mr.
Weasel was around. But we will buy another Bunny, two Bunnies, a white
one and a black one, and they shall have a nice little house in the
wood-shed, where no weasel can find them."
WEASEL AND FROGS—THE INTERRUPTED CONCERT.
Harry brightened up at once at the prospect of having two Bunnies, while
mamma said: "Now let us talk a little about the weasel. It is not so
much to be blamed, after all, for killing Bunny, for it was born with
the instinct to catch rabbits and squirrels, rats, mice, and many other
small animals, as well as chickens and birds of all kinds. Weasels are
very sly little beasts, although if captured when very young they can be
tamed, and taught to eat out of their master's hand. If you will listen,
and not cry any more, I will tell you what I saw and heard one summer
afternoon over by the pond in the meadow. You know it is a very small
pond, and that afternoon the water was so still that it looked like a
glass eye in the midst of the great green meadow. I sat down on the bank
to rest, and to watch the reflection of the bushes and tall
water-grasses which overhung the pond. Suddenly the surface of the water
was disturbed by a hundred circling ripples, in the centre of which
appeared a small dark spot. As I watched, these dark spots became
visible all over the pond. The sun was setting, and the beautiful summer
twilight coming on, and it was so still it seemed as if Nature and all
her pretty minstrels were fast asleep. All at once I heard a hoarse
voice, which seemed at my very feet. 'Chu-lunk, chu-lunk, chu-lunk,' it
said. It must have been the chorister calling his frog chorus together
for their evening song, for in a moment a multitude of voices were
answering from the long grasses, the bushes, the water—indeed, the
whole neighborhood, a moment before so quiet, was alive with little frog
people. They evidently had some cause of complaint against a very wicked
person, as my little Harry has just now, for I distinctly heard one say,
'Stole a rabbit, stole a rabbit;' while another answered, 'I saw him do
it, I saw him do it.' Then the whole chorus burst out,'We'll pull him
in, we'll pull him in.' 'Plump, plump, plump,' added one voice more
revengeful than all the rest. I sat very still, waiting to see what was
to be pulled plump into the water. I did not have long to wait, but I
fancy things took a turn contrary to the one desired by the frog people.
There was a sudden rustling in the bushes, a sharp, quick sound like the
springing of a cat. The chorus was still in an instant, but the entire
shore of the little pond was covered with rushing, springing, jumping
frogs. Pell-mell they tumbled over each other in headlong race for the
water, to escape their cruel enemy, which now appeared, and showed
himself to be a slender little weasel. He darted here and there among
the helpless frogs, which made no attempts to 'pull him in,' but bent
their whole efforts toward self-preservation. At length, seizing a fat
frog in his mouth, the weasel turned and disappeared noiselessly among
the bushes. Peace reigned once more, but the little frog people had all
jumped into the water, and not a voice was heard protesting or uttering
"And did the weasel get more than one poor little frog, mamma?" asked
"No, he carried off only one frog," replied mamma; "but he killed
several more, which he left lying dead in the grass. I dug a hole in the
mud with a sharp stick and buried them, so that their companions should
not find them when they ventured on shore again."
"Well," said Harry, after thinking a few moments, "now I guess I'll go
and bury my poor dead rabbit."