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MEGA MARINE HOME
Tales of Croakanoakio: By John A. Mayer - 2760 Words
Hidden away in the Province of Ontario is a land called Croakanoakio. A land filled with animals and wonderful creatures who make their homes in its rivers, lakes, and marshes. This is the story of Frisby the frog and Orlio the little blue fish, and their travels through Croakano Marsh to explore its wonders and dangers.
Chapter 1: Surple Purple Pie
Swish! Swish! Swish!
Penny the purple frog stopped and listened....
Gurgle! Bubble! Pop!
Hippity-hopping onto the front porch of the Purple Marsh Hotel, she looked for a slippery shadow in the water. Penny expected to see Homer the water snake swishing around looking for more surple purple pie and scaring her guests. He was such a rascal when he was hungry.
"Oh Gawrsh!" said a surprised Penny. "You're not Homer! Where did you come from?"
A little blue fish was swimming lazily in the sun, swishing his tail and blowing bubbles.
"My name is Orlio and I have traveled a very long way. Do you have anything to eat?"
"Why of course I do," said Penny more at ease. "I'll bring you one of my famous, delicious, surple purple pies. They have every goodness you need to be happy, healthy, and wise. She went inside and returned from the kitchen in a lickity-split."
Penny's pie was truly the best in all of Croakanoakio. It was almost magical! Orlio gobbled up some surple purple pie and then began talking of his travels through Croakano Marsh. He spoke of a far away land called Blueberrio that he wanted to explore. A wise old bass had told him how to get there and instead of reeds and lily pads, it had beaches and big trees. Then Penny heard a familiar sound above and told Orlio not to be afraid.
Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh!
It was Frisby the frog flying through the air with his arms and legs outstretched spinning around and around. He made a rather hard splash landing that sent ripples all along the lily pads.
"How did you learn to fly like that?" asked Orlio, bobbing like a cork.
Frisby gathered himself together the way frogs do, and climbed onto Penny's porch. He explained that by the bridge one day, he saw two boys throwing a disk back and forth. It spun around and flew very far; so he jumped up high in the air, spun around very fast, and began to fly just like it.
Orlio was very impressed! "Would you like to come with me to explore Blueberrio?" he asked. "We can take some of Penny's surple purple pie and have a great adventure in the marsh."
Well of course, Frisby agreed, and the two explorers waved goodbye to Penny who wished them well.
"Come back soon," she said. "I'll have some surple purple pie waiting for you."
Penny sat on her front porch and watched Frisby fly from lily pad to lily pad and Orlio's blue tail fin swishing through the water until they disappeared into the distance.
Chapter 2: Ducks and Danger
After traveling all afternoon, Frisby and Orlio floated restfully. The water was very clear, and lazy bubbles tickled their noses.
Then up ahead they saw twelve small webbed feet paddling toward them, and six yellow ducklings began splashing and playing.
"Hello there little fellows," they said, trying to be friendly.
But three small voices answered them together.
"We three aren't fellows. We're Betty, Barbie, and Bubbles, and our brothers are Bobby, Billy, and Buster. They are the fellows."
"Yes they are!" quacked a voice from the bulrushes. "And always paddling too far away from their mother." Mrs. Pintail scolded her ducklings, and nudged them gently back into her nest.
Just then Orlio saw something he could not resist. A big fat dew worm was floating in the water only a short distance away and with a flick of his tail, he swooshed over and gobbled it up.
"Oh no!" he cried. "Help, Frisby! There is something pulling me away!"
Frisby jumped up and flew over to where Orlio was splashing. High in the air he could see a man standing in a boat with a strange stick in his hands. He was turning something around and around that pulled Orlio closer to him.
Frisby dove into the water to rescue his friend. "You have a hook in your mouth Orlio. Let's try to bite it off." But try as they might, nothing worked and then "SPLOOSH", they were out of the water and hanging in the air.
"Oh my," laughed the fisherman. "A fish 'and' a frog! Hold still while I catch you in my net."
Then Frisby and Orlio shook and squirmed and wriggled so hard, they fell off the hook and back into the water.
"Drat!" said the fisherman. "Just my luck!" He started up his motor and went sputtering away.
Two very shaken explorers spent the night hiding in the weeds.
Chapter 3: Mr. Muskrat and the Polka Dot Mouse.
"Alright muskrat, it's your turn to clean the house. Wake up!"
"Don't bother me mouse. I'm too tired to tidy up. Besides, isn't it your turn?"
"My turn!" squeaked a small voice trying to sound much bigger. "My turn! I'm not the messy one. It's your turn! Now get busy or I'll nibble your big toe."
And so began another day in the life of a messy muskrat and a pushy polka dot mouse, who lived at the edge of Croakano Marsh in a big bulrush house. They were always arguing and insulting one another. One day the polka dot mouse decided that they should have a number on their front door so friends would know where they lived on Croakano Creek.
"Muskrat, I think we should put the number twelve on our front door."
"Ah, no way mouse. My favorite number is eleven."
"We can't have two numbers," squealed the polka dot mouse. "So we're having twelve."
"Why can't we have two numbers?" argued Mr. Muskrat. "Eleven 'and' twelve."
"No, no, no! It can't be done. No one has 'two' different numbers on their door."
"But mouse, why don't we make one number out of two?" suggested Mr. Muskrat. "Like Eleventytwelve."
"Eleventytwelve! That's crazy!" shouted mouse. "There is no such number. Have you fallen on your head?"
By now Mr. Muskrat was getting tired of arguing. "Look here mouse, it's either eleventytwelve or no number at all. You decide."
The polka dot mouse wanted a number on the front door more than Mr. Muskrat, so he agreed to eleventytwelve.
As Muskrat and Mouse were hammering up their new number, not far away, still hiding in the weeds were Frisby and Orlio.
"Do you hear hammering Orlio?"
"I think so Frisby. I'm hungry. Maybe whoever it is has some food to share."
The two explorers swam and spun toward the sound, and flying high above Croakano Creek, Frisby looked and listened.
"I think I see something that way," said the spinning frog. "Follow me."
"Stop hammering mouse. I hear something."
Muskrat and mouse became very still and listened.
Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh!
Then they saw it. A funny looking green thing was flying right at them.
"Run muskrat! It's a flying saucer from outer space," shouted the polka dot mouse. But before they could run, a big splash covered them both with water and there they stood soaking wet.
"Sorry about that," croaked a shy voice. "Sometimes I make bad landings. My name is Frisby."
"Why it's only a frog," grumbled Mr. Muskrat.
"So it is," agreed mouse. "What do you mean by dropping out of the sky like that? Frogs don't drop out of the sky. Who are you?"
Just then Orlio appeared, and not wasting any time asked if they had any food to share. Well in no time at all, everything was explained and muskrat and mouse offered their unexpected guests some seeds and marsh grass.
"You wouldn't happen to have a dew worm?" asked Orlio.
"Or a fly?" croaked Frisby trying to be polite.
It's not that our two travelers were rude you see, but frogs and fish don't usually eat the same things as muskrat and mice. The problem was solved, when all of them agreed that blueberry tarts would be much nicer anyway. After a lazy afternoon, they were all full and very tired, and the sun went down on Croakano Marsh once more.
Early the next morning, the polka dot mouse began hanging the rest of eleventytwelve on the door.
"Wake up. The sun is rising!" he shouted.
Frisby and Orlio were still sleepy but they went to see what the mouse was doing.
"What number is that?" asked Frisby, a little confused.
"It's not really a number at all," grumbled the mouse. "It's only muskrat's crazy way of making our house look silly."
"That's not true," said Mr. Muskrat rubbing his eyes. "I was smart. I made two numbers into one, so don't start bothering me again."
Orlio swam closer to Frisby and whispered, "We had better leave before they blame us for inventing eleventytwelve!"
So the two travelers thanked muskrat and mouse very much and quickly made their way back into the marsh. In the distance they could still hear them both arguing about eleventytwelve.
Chapter 4: The Beaver Pond
The sun was in the middle of the sky when Frisby and Orlio reached "Slappy" the beaver's pond. Of course they didn't know whose pond it was or they would not have gone there. It's not that beavers are bad or mean you see, because they are actually quite nice. They build dams that make ponds where ducks and fish and many animals like to live. Beavers mostly eat twigs and bark and don't bother any one. It's just that Slappy was a bit of a rascally bully, and didn't like uninvited guests swimming in his pond.
"HELP! Someone please help me!"
Wouldn't you know it? There up ahead a little blue fish was swimming as fast as she could with "Slappy" the beaver chasing her.
"Quick Frisby, we have to do something!"
Before Orlio could say another word Frisby jumped from a log high into the air and flew toward the beaver.
Slappy looked up and couldn't believe what he saw spinning above his pond. "I'm being attacked by a flying frog!" he shouted, and slapped his tail on the water to signal danger.
Frisby landed on Slappy's head and scared the confused beaver so much that he just turned around and swam back to his house of sticks and mud for a rest. The little blue fish got away and swam right into Orlio, "KERBONK", who nudged her into the tall reeds.
"Be very still," he whispered.
"Orlio, where are you?"
"Over here in the tall reeds," answered a shaky voice. "Is the beaver gone?"
"Oh yes," laughed Frisby. "He's taking a nap in his house.
With the danger passed, Frisby and Orlio discovered that the little blue fish they had saved was named Olive and she came from Loon Lake in the land of Blueberrio. She had wandered into Croakano Marsh looking for food, when she became lost and couldn't find her way back home.
"Oh, I hope my minnows are alright," said Olive. "I left them with Mrs. Sunfish two days ago."
Something about Olive made Orlio feel very happy. It was like he had found his "forever friend", and he wanted very much to go back with her to Blueberrio.
"Don't worry Olive," he said, trying to comfort her. "I think I know the way to Loon Lake from here."
"That's alright," said Olive. "I'm not helpless you know! I can find my own way back now that I've reached the beaver pond." Then she added softly, "I'm sorry Orlio. I didn't mean to sound ungrateful, but I like doing things for myself. Thank you both for helping me, but I must get back to my minnows. Goodbye Frisby. Goodbye Orlio!"
"Wait!" blurted Orlio. "Won't you let me swim with you for a while? Slappy the beaver might wake up."
"Are you sure that it's no trouble?" asked Olive. "I wouldn't want to take you out of your way."
"Oh, no trouble at all." said Orlio. It would be my pleasure."
Frisby was sitting on a lilypad feeling a little left out when he hopped into the water and said, "Orlio, I've been thinking about how much I miss Penny's surple purple pie, and think it's time I started for home. Goodbye my friend and take care of yourself."
"You're not coming along?" asked Orlio sadly.
"No, I don't think so," replied Frisby. "We have had a wonderful time exploring the marsh together, but I'm getting tired now and miss my favorite lily pad."
So with that, they nibbled each other's noses and promised to meet again someday. Orlio and Olive swam toward Loon Lake's beaches and trees in Blueberrio, while Frisby hopped and flew back to Penny's Purple Marsh Hotel.
Chapter 5: Home at Last!
Patches the red winged blackbird filled the marsh with his call. Fluttering among the reeds and bulrushes he signaled the coming of dusk.
"I think I'll take one last fly around the marsh before the sun goes down," he said to himself. With a flap of his wings he was in the sky and calling rrrrreee, rrrrreee!
But Patches wasn't the only one flying in the evening sky. Looking toward the sunset he couldn't believe his eyes.
"Holy hoppytoads, it's a flying frog!" he said; "Now I've seen everything."
Landing on a bulrush, he ruffled his feathers, and watched the spinning frog fly off into the distance.
The morning sun warmed Frisby's smooth, sleeping body as swirls of mist floated above the water.
"Good morning Mr. Frog." chirped a tiny voice.
Frisby slowly opened his eyes and croaked a loud yawn.
"The sun is shining Mr. Frog. It's time to wake up."
"Who said that?" yawned Frisby, rubbing his eyes. "Where are you? Why did you wake me?"
But before the voice could answer he spied a tiny water bug dancing in circles by the next lilypad.
"I'm Priscilla the dancing water bug, and if you sleep too long on that lilypad you'll be gobbled up by Homer snake."
"Homer snake!" exclaimed Frisby. "Do you know Homer the water snake?"
"Of course," replied Priscilla. "Doesn't everyone?"
"Oh my!" said Frisby. "That must mean I'm close to home. Have you seen a purple hotel around here?"
"Purple hotel ~~ purple hotel," thought Priscilla. "Where did I see that purple hotel?" She danced around and around in circles making ripples all over the water. "I know! It's not too far away, follow me and I'll take you there."
Frisby swam along beside Priscilla, not wanting to fly for fear of losing sight of the tiny water bug. They passed by Mrs. Pintail's nest and everything started to look familiar when a scary sound came from behind them.
SWISH! SWISH! SWISH!
A slippery black head popped out of the water.
"Aha Frisby, I've got you at last!" hissed Homer as he raced toward the frightened frog.
"Oh no!" cried Frisby. "There isn't a lily pad in sight. How will I jump up into the air without something to jump from?"
"Swim Frisby, swim!" shouted Priscilla. "Don't worry about me. Homer doesn't like bugs."
Swimming with all his might, Frisby rounded a clump of familiar looking bulrushes and there in front of him was Penny's Purple Marsh Hotel. With the snake right behind him he finally reached the hotel lily pad, and jumped out of the water landing next to a surprised Penny. And then ~~
Homer swam right into a big bulrush and gave one last swish as he sank into the water.
"Oh gawrsh, he knocked himself out cold, but he'll be okay," said Penny with a smile. "That will teach the slippery little critter."
"Frisby!" she shouted. "You' re back! Gawrsh it's good to see you. Come on inside. I've got eleventymillion things to ask you."
"Eleventymillion," said Frisby. "Do you know Mr. Muskrat and the polka dot mouse?"
"No. Who are they?" asked Penny.
Frisby wiggled his head and said, "Let's go inside and I'll tell you all about them and Mrs. Pintail and the fisherman and Slappy and Olive and ~~
"Oh gawrsh," said Penny. "You do have eleventymillion things to tell me. How about some nice honey tea and a piece of surple purple pie?"
"Yummy, yum, yum," said Frisby. "It sure is good to be home."
Complete storybook and CD available. Contact John
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