Once upon a time surrounded by huge trees and bushes of all sorts there was a very large lake. It was called Pipers Lake and was well known for two things. First it was well known for its tall cattails that people wanted to decorate their homes with. Second, it was known for his abundant supply of frogs. It had all sorts of frogs but the greatest and most prized was the big bullfrogs that came out at night to feed. It was the redneck fellows who lived near by who loved to put on hip boots and with gig in hand go looking for the biggest bullfrogs they could find. They all got together on Saturday night and had frog leg stew. I don’t know what they did with the other parts but the legs were the only thing the men used for eating.
Now it happened that living in this lake was a handsome bullfrog named Raymond “long legs” Cantrell.
For years he had swam the lake intimidating all the other bullfrogs showing off his ever so long legs.
“I’m the king of Pipers Lake and my legs are stronger, longer, more powerful and more handsome than any other frog any where in this neck of the woods. I’ll fight the strongest frog to win my mate and I have avoided the gig from the frogmen longer than any other frog. I think God must be smiling on me!” He smiled as he rolled out his long tongue to capture a dragon fly that just happened to be in the wrong place at that time.
“Well I’ll bet there is one thing you are not the best at.” Snickered Ralph Mundane the next frog in line to be the champion of all the frogs.
“What pray tell could it be? I’ve done it all and won every single time.” Long Legs asked arching his eyebrow with curiosity
You cannot climb up that tall cattail and leap onto that tree branch, then dive into the deepest part of the lake without getting hurt.” Ralph sneered.
“Of course I can do that. I’ve dived from every limb around here and I’ve never been hurt.” Long Legs replied with a distinctive huff to his voice.
“Ok if you are so sure of yourself, then do it right now in front of us all. If you get hurt I win as king of the lake.” Ralph jeered. The crowd of frogs began to whistle and clap which only made Long Legs pride even bigger than it already was.
“Let the show begin!” Hollered Platapus Irving. Platapus was also well known for his enormous amount of wart-like growths on his back.
The words had hardly escaped Platapus mouth when Long Legs jumped on long leap and climbed to the top of the cattail. It didn’t take him but a few seconds to reach the limb of the tree Ralph had pointed out.
He stretched his legs and arms as all professional frog divers do. Then he rubbed his eyes to be sure to get a clear vision of the water beneath him and with one deep breath he dove off the limb into the water below.
Everyone’s eyes were watching the spot where Long Legs hit the water. They waited and waited but Long Legs did not come up.
“Oh my gosh something has happened. Platapus get your butt in the water and see what is wrong with Long Legs!” Rita Rittleburg screamed.
Platapus dove immediately into the water to rescue their mascot.
Now Ralph did not tell Long Legs that he had gathered up all the tin cans left around the lake and put them all under the limb of the tree. Neither did he tell him that some of the cans had been opened leaving a very sharp lid exposed. He did not tell him about all the bottles he had gathered and piled under the tree’s limb as well.
It wasn’t long until Platapus popped his head out of the water and he had his long arm around Long Legs head. Quickly he paddled to the shore. Gasp from the frogs along the bank of the lake could be heard.
What had happened to Long Legs? Was he cut and bleeding? Was he unconscious from a blow to his head? The frogs went wild with curiosity.
“What is wrong with Long Legs?” Rita yelled loudly.
“He has a broken leg and his foot has been cut almost completely in half. We have got the get him out on the mud bank and wrap his leg. Some nice lady needs to sew up his food before he bleeds to death.” Platapus panted.
Those words were enough. Everyone got busy and before you could say ‘The farmers cat fell into a bucket of orange paint’ the leg had been wrapped and the foot stitched by some of the best lady frogs in the lake. Long Legs had taken a terrible fall however and was not in any shape to talk about what had happened to him. It would take days before his headache left and his memory returned.
“Ralph you heathen sapsucker! You knew full well what was under that water. You thought I would be killed when I hit all those bottles or cut to death by the lids on the cans. Well I probably would not have survived if my ole buddy Platapus had not come to my rescue. I can’t believe you would stoop so low as to get someone killed just to take his place around the lake. Therefore I now announce to all who live in or near this lake that Ralph Mundane be cast out of this area and never be allowed to come here again. If I had a prison to put you in I would do so but I have an idea that your conscious will eat you up as much as anything I could do to you. You will have to live with what you have done. When you set out to hurt other people it always comes back to you!” Long Legs announced for all to hear.
Ralph lowered his head and hopped off into the tall grass. No one ever heard from him again.
Long Legs continued to mend but once he had healed totally he made Platapus king of the lake. It was Platapus’s love and devotion that allowed Long Legs to live.
So if you are around a large lake and you see a bullfrog with lots of wart-like growths on his back, it very well could be Platapus or one of his offsprings for females do lay over 20,000 eggs with each mating. I’m sure Platapus is now famous with all the female frogs in the lake and we can expect many more little Platapus siblings just like him.
Question: Why did Ralph want Platapus to die?
Written by Sybil Shearin
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