Sto­ry­time: Frankie and the Fish

These fish were in a frus­trat­ing fix till a fan­tas­tic so­lu­tion was found!

More of Our Canada - - Contents - by Betty Ann Pope­lier, Oil Springs, Ont.

Frankie the Frog had no wor­ries about sur­viv­ing win­ter—hi­ber­na­tion has its ben­e­fits, after all—but what about his gold­fish friends in that shal­low pond?

Once upon a time, there was a frog named Frankie. One day, he hopped as fast as he could to his favourite pond. “I’m fi­nally here!” he croaked. Just be­fore fling­ing him­self into the fresh, cool wa­ter, he no­ticed a black-and-or­ange gold­fish blow­ing bub­bles and look­ing at him with fear in her eyes. “What’s the mat­ter lit­tle fish?” asked Frankie. “My name is Fanny,” an­swered the gold­fish, pok­ing her tiny mouth just above the wa­ter’s sur­face. Her fin was flap­ping fu­ri­ously. “I’m very wor­ried. The wa­ter in this lit­tle pond is be­com­ing frigid and we are in great fear for our lives.”

“We?” ques­tioned Frankie. “Are there other fish in there with you?” Sud­denly, four more tiny fish were floating next to Fanny.

“Hi, I’m Frieda, I’m Fritz, I’m Fabio and I’m Flora,” they all sang out, their bub­bles mak­ing the wa­ter all frothy. “Well, hi there, nice to meet you,” croaked Frankie. “Hel­looo,” in­ter­rupted Fan­nie. “Didn’t you hear me? We’re all fear­ing for our lives down here. We don’t have time for friv­o­lous chat­ter. It will be snow­ing soon and I’m afraid we’ll freeze to death.” “Hmm,” frowned Frankie, as he stuck out his long tongue and caught one of his favourite foods, a fat fly. I’m glad I don’t have to face that prob­lem. When the snow starts to fall, I just hi­ber­nate for the en­tire win­ter.” “What does hyri­nate mean?” asked Fritz. “HI­BER­NATE, it means to fade into a deep sleep for a long time. I feel fan­tas­tic and re­freshed when spring ar­rives.” “Well, that’s just fine for you,” Fanny said, flail­ing and flop­ping in the wa­ter, “but what are we go­ing to do?” “Hmm, this is quite a flab­ber­gast­ing sit­u­a­tion,” replied Frankie with a frown. The fish and Frankie fret­ted about the fright­en­ing sit­u­a­tion for a while, when sud­denly, in a flash, a net was flipped into the wa­ter and, one by one, the fish were fetched out and flopped into a pail. Frankie watched in frus­tra­tion as a fear­some look­ing man car­ried his friends away. Fol­low­ing closely be­hind, he saw the man sud­denly stop be­side a fab­u­lous, much larger pond. Fas­ci­nated, Frankie watched as all five fish were gen­tly freed into the warmer and deeper wa­ter. The man left and Frankie hopped down to the pond to find his friends hap­pily frol­ick­ing in for­ma­tion. He jumped onto a floating flower and called out to them. “You will all be fine now. The wa­ter tem­per­a­ture far­ther down stays above freez­ing all win­ter.” “Farewell, Frankie. We will never for­get you,” they all cried. “Oh, don’t fret my new­found friends,” he replied. “Have a fan­tas­tic win­ter and I’ll find you after the frost melts in spring. I’d bet­ter get go­ing as I must fill up with food be­fore my long sleep.” The fact is, thought Frankie as he hopped away, we must al­ways have faith. ■

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