Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Margaret. She had blonde hair, with a slight wave that caught the sun from any angle she flicked her head.
One day she went for a walk in the field next to her cottage. The wheat was growing as high as her hands now, and she held them out, petting the grainy tips as she walked.
After a good long walk, she came upon something she had never noticed before. There was a drop in the ground, something resembling dirt steps, leading to a door framed with 3 small logs. It looked as if it were an old mine tunnel entrance from the days when people would look for gold deep in the earth.
She slowly made her way down until she was in front of the doorway that led to darkness. As soon as she took another step, she heard a voice rumble from deep down “DO NOT ENTER”.
Margaret turned and ran back toward home. But after a minute of being back in the field, she stopped. She was a very curious girl, so she spun around and marched back toward the subterranean door.
At the entrance once again, she let out a small “Hello?”. All was quiet this time, so she slowly placed one foot in front of the other, disappearing into the darkness.
She then heard a scratching noise. It seemed to come from a wall to the left. No, it was from her right. Then it was from above. She paused her step, feeling anxious at what it could be.
The sound of little squeaks began to build up, becoming louder and louder among the scratching noises, and soon overpowering them.
Margaret remembered she had one single match left in her back pocket from last night’s campfire. She pulled it out and struck it against the wall. The tiniest flame danced in the dark. As her eyes quickly adjusted, she looked up.
“BATS!”, she screamed, as she frantically ran to get away, without noticing which way she was headed. Once she was away from the bats, she noticed she had run deeper into the mine. The musty smell of wet caves filled her nose. She was now even further down into the earth than she had expected.
As she looked around, the light on the walls was fading. Her matchstick was at its end. As it sputtered out, the darkness was complete. She could not see her hand in front of her face.
She began to feel terrified. How would she ever find her way back? She only had one last hope. The voice from earlier.
“Hello?”, she squeaked out. Silence. “I know you’re in here somewhere”.
A deep rumbling voice rose from the depths of the caves. “IT’S TOO LATE NOW, YOU SHOULD HAVE LISTENED TO MY WARNING”.
“Please, help me, I need to find my way home,” she pleaded.
Then in the farthest distance, she noticed just the tiniest spark of light. It was barely there, but she slowly walked toward it. It grew bigger and bigger. Soon she was standing in front of a bonfire, blazing away in the caves.
She walked around the side to see a stone table built from rocks. On it sat a little wooden box.
“IF YOU KNOW WHAT’S GOOD FOR YOU, YOU WILL NOT OPEN THE BOX”, demanded the voice.
Margaret placed her hands on the box anyway. She said “I must know what is in this box,” then slowly lifted the lid.
Out jumped a frog. It looked at her in a scratchy voice and said, “why couldn’t you listen?”.
“A frog!?” she said sounding confused.
“I told you not to come in here, I just want to be left alone,” said the frog.
The girl asked, “What’s wrong?”
“It’s my throat, it’s hurting so bad. Ever since I ate that fly.”
“Your voice doesn’t always sound so grumbly and scratchy?”
“No, it just started after I ate this strange looking fly earlier today. It had very interesting brightly colored wings.”
“You might have eaten a poison fly!” the girl exclaimed. “Lay on your back, I can help”.
So the frog did what she asked, and laid his back against the cold stone table. Margaret lifted her pinky, so as to apply the smallest amount of pressure necessary, and pushed on his tummy three times.
Out popped the fly from the frog’s throat. “Wow, I feel much better already,” he said.
“And your voice is sounding much clearer now too,” said the girl. She picked up the fly and looked it over, stating how it was definitely a poison one, and that is probably what was affecting his throat so much. “If I hadn’t found you, you might have died soon!” she noted. “Why were you hiding in this cave?”.
The frog looked down and said very shyly, “I was ashamed of my voice, and the other frog’s were laughing at the sound of it. I felt embarrassed so I tried to get as far away from others as I could.”
“Would you like to be my friend,” asked Margaret.
“Oh yes, thank you,” the frog replied, a smile stretching all the way across his little green head.
And so Margarett followed the frog as he led the way back out of the mine, and all the way to her cottage. The frog lived in the grasses just outside her house, and after a few years had made a huge family of frogs.
Every morning Margaret would go outside, give a whistle, and hundreds of little frogs would come hopping up to her. They even performed a little dance, kicking their long legs while singing:
“You saved our grandfather from the poison fly, and you loved him even when his voice was a little froggy! Now we’ll all dance and be forever grateful to our friend Margaret!”.