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Sat, 30 May 2009
hello welcome to the last chapter of The Old Lady who Lived in a Shoe

 
    CHAPTER FOUR

the Nursery Rhyme       "What have you come here for?" asked the Frog King in an awful voice, when Zed was standing before him. "And what do you want to say to me?"
"I came to ask you where my brothers and sisters are?" replied Zed. "None of them were there last night when  my mother came home from market. But there were  twenty-two poplar trees that had never been there before standing in a row by the stream."
"Those are your brothers and sisters and there they shall stay."
  "Oh please, please don't let them stay there!" Begged Zed. "Turn them back into boys and girls again, as they were before."
   "No!" Answered the Frog King, and his voice was still more awful.
   "Why not? Oh please do!" said Zed.
   "Why not? Why not? They are so idle and lazy that they wished for to do no more work all their lives, and I granted them their wish. " Said the Frog King.
   "Well, I will do their work for them," said Zed.
 "That will not do. I cannot have idle children getting into mischief along the banks of my stream," said the Frog King. "And it's no use begging. You had better go home."
frogs guards jumping towards Zed  "But perhaps they will be better now," went on Zed, for he could not bear to think of his brothers and sisters turned into trees for the rest of their lives, so he would not give up begging for them. "Please give them one more chance. Think  how sad my mother is, and how sad my father will be when he gets home."
    The Frog King thought for a moment and then he said: "I shall not turn them back into little boys and girls at once, for they would only remember the fright they had for a few days, and then would drop back into their old ways again. But I will allow them to have their shapes at night. If I am pleased with them after three nights, they shall keep their own shapes in the day time as well, but if not they shall be washed away by the stream. All this, can only be done on three conditions."
   "What are the three conditions, " said Zed.
"The first is while they have their own shapes, you will be turned into a frog and sit on a stone in the middle of the stream till they come back at dawn, every one of them, you will be a frog all your life.
all the frogsThe second is that they must please me three nights running and not any three nights, when you happen not to be sleepy and may have a fancy to go into the garden. And the third is that you do not breathe a word to anybody until they are boys and girls again by day as well as by night."
   "Yes, yes," replied Zed. "I will be a frog and sit in the stream while they are boys and girls, and I will do it three nights running, and I will not breathe a word to any one about it until they have their proper shapes again by day as well as night. Only tell me quick what to do."
    "It's too late tonight," said the Frog King, "or rather it will be by the time you get home. But tomorrow night  you must get out bed when your mother is asleep and take some water from the stream and pour it over the  roots of each of the poplar trees. When you have watered the whole row of the trees you must say:

"Brothers and sisters, work with a will,
frogs guards jumping towards ZedAnd the Frog King says there is hope for you still.
Come back at daybreak before the cocks crow,
And be changed back to trees in the poplar row;
Or else I shall never more look like Zed,
But must stay in the stream like a frog instead."

"Now shall you remember that?" asked the Frog King.
  Zed said the verse several times, till he was sure he would remember it, then he made a low bow to the king and started back home.
   The sky was beginning to grow pink in the east by the time he reached their garden, and his mother was already stirring.
   "Where have you been?" She asked in surprise, as Zed came into the kitchen.
"I have been out," he said, but he couldn't tell her where he had been for he had promised the Frog King that he wouldn't.
Posted 21:52

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