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The Tadpole and the Dragonfly

Pond life’s funny side for the Tadpole and Dragonfly. By Lynne Truss. Stars Julian Rhind-Tutt and Alison Steadman. From 2014.

The Tadpole played by Julian Rhind Tutt and the Dragonfly played by Alison Steadman, reveal the truth about life in a garden pond, in the first of three very funny tales, written and introduced by Lynne Truss, with sound recordings by Chris Watson.

The jaunty Tadpole revels in his youth as he darts about the pond, generally avoiding his neighbours because most of them want to eat him! "When are you going to grow up?" asks the Dragonfly. This is far from easy as the tadpole is quick to point out, as he has to go through a whole traumatic body-changing metamorphosis. The only disadvantage, he reckons, of being young and immature of course, is that you have no hands, which makes things tricky when you want to wave at anyone or take a selfie, but it's a small price to pay for the freedom of youth reckons our happy-go-lucky fellow, until a strange dream signals a life-changing event. "One minute you're wiggling, wiggling. and the next you look absolutely daft waving your bottom around, coz there's nothing on the end of it"

The Dragonfly is lighter than air, quick, beautiful; all dazzling wings and observant eyes . She is also quite highly sexed and living life at a great rate knowing that she doesn't have much time. Having spent months and months living in the murk and mud of the garden pond as an ugly, aggressive nymph, her life was transformed when she felt impelled to climb up a stem and was transformed into an adult. She is dazzling; with her aerial acrobatics, fine wings and long slender limbs. But she knows she hasn't long to live and before she dies, she must feed and find a mate "I'm gorgeous, I'm ready ... and I'm hot, hot, hot".

Producer Sarah Blunt.

30 minutes

Last on

Sat 11 Apr 2020 12:30

Pond life inspiration

Pond life inspiration
An illustration of pond life courtesy of Kenneth Anderson. © Kenneth Anderson


Role Contributor
Presenter Lynne Truss
Tadpole Julian Rhind-Tutt
Dragonfly Alison Steadman
Producer Sarah Blunt
Writer Lynne Truss


  • Sun 7 Sep 2014 19:15
  • Tue 25 Aug 2015 23:00
  • Tue 16 Oct 2018 16:30
  • Wed 17 Oct 2018 04:30
  • Tue 7 Apr 2020 09:30
  • Sat 11 Apr 2020 12:30