by Allyn M. Stotz -
“Do-Re-Mi-Fa-So-La-Ti-Do,” sang Hippytoe the Hippo and Earmuff the Lamb as they practiced their singing. The most important concert of the year was coming up.
Hippytoe gazed into her pocket mirror. “No one sings as beautifully as I do. My dazzling voice is amazing.”
Earmuff rolled his eyes. “Oh, brother.”
“La…la…la…me…moo…me…moo…me…moo. Are you jealous, Earmuff?”
“In your dreams.”
Hippytoe belted out a gigantic laugh. “What’s ttthhhaaa…ccckkk…ccckkk?”
Earmuff snickered. “Swallow a bug, did you?”
Hippytoe couldn’t answer. She opened her mouth and pointed into it.
Earmuff peaked inside. “Whoa! There’s a frog stuck in your throat!”
“I… I… ribbitt… ribbitt,” Hippytoe croaked.
She jumped up and down trying to loosen the frog. But instead, she shook the ground, not the frog.
Hippytoe dropped to the ground and rolled, kicked her short stubby legs, and tumbled around in the bluebonnets. But all that did was squish the flowers.
She massaged her neck, hacked, and even tried standing on her head. But all that did was produce a roaring headache.
The frog wouldn’t budge.
Hippytoe plopped on a tree stump, slumped over, and cradled her head in her hands.
Buzz…a fly hummed around Hippytoe’s head. Suddenly, a long skinny tongue shot out of her mouth and SNAP… snatched the fly in one swift swipe.
Earmuff asked, “How’d you do that?”
Hippytoe glared with wild eyes. “The…ribbitt…ribbitt…frog…ribbitt…did… ribbitt…ribbitt… it!”
Earmuff panicked. “We’d better do something quick, Hippytoe. We have to get to the concert.”
Hippytoe raced to a nearby drinking fountain where she gulped down gallons of water. She tilted her head backwards, gargled and then spit.
The frog didn’t budge.
Hippytoe hung her head low. “I…ribbitt…won’t be able…ribbitt…ribbitt…to sing.”