Tadpole tails

Once upon a time there was a tiny creature called Freddy. Sadly, he didn't know what sort of creature he was.

Freddy lived in a tropical pond in Nigeria, West Africa, with his five brothers. Although they loved water they couldn't swim - only bend and wiggle.

Along swam a Daddy Duck with his six ducklings - splash, splash!

'Do we belong to you?' Freddy asked the Daddy Duck.

'Can you quack like this?' said the Daddy Duck pointing to his babies.

'Quack, quack!' quacked the babies.

'Wriggle, wriggle!' went Freddy. 'No we can't!' he replied sadly.

'Epele omode! Sorry children but you don't belong to us then,' explained the Daddy Duck gently. 'I hope you find your own Daddy soon.'

And off he swam with his six ducklings following behind.

Freddy and his brothers swam off too because they noticed something exciting had happened. They now had tails! They could swim!

Presently, a Mummy Crayfish, swam by with her six babies - splash, splash!

'Do we belong to you?' Freddy asked politely.

‘Can you swish your tail like this?' asked the Mummy Crayfish pointing to her babies.

'Swish, swish!' swished the baby Crayfish.

'Splish, splosh!' went Freddy. 'No we can't,' he replied sadly.

'Epele omode! Sorry children, but you don't belong to us then,' said the Mummy Crayfish kindly. 'I hope you find your own Mummy soon.'

And off she swam with her six babies following behind.

Freddy and his brothers swam off a bit faster this time because something else had happened. They now had gills to breath!

Further into the pond they saw a Mummy Mosquito and her six babies buzzing around - buzz, buzz!

'Do we belong to you?' Freddy asked the Mummy Mosquito.

'Can you snap like this?' asked the Mummy Mosquito - pointing to her babies.

'Snap, snap! snapped the baby Mosquitos.

'Splosh, splish!' went Freddy. 'No we can't,' he replied sadly.

'Epele omode! Sorry children, but you don't belong to us,' explained the Mummy Mosquito warmly. I hope you find your own Mummy soon.'

And off she buzzed with her six babies buzzing behind.

Freddy sighed. Who did they belong to? And now he noticed something else. They had grown tiny arms and legs! Freddy and his brothers confidently swam further into the water.

After a while they settled at the side of the pond to rest. They didn't need to look for any food - they found they could just feed on their tails - munch, munch! How tasty!

After a few days their arms and legs were developed and they began to feel much stronger.

Suddenly Freddy heard a noise. 'Croak, croak!’ Freddy looked up and saw a creature in front of him. ‘This might finally be our Mummy,’ he thought.

No, sadly, it didn't look like him. Then suddenly he spotted his reflection in the pond. Wow, he didn't look like the Freddy he knew! He looked completely different! And so did his brothers!

All excited, they swam up to this creature making the strange croaking noise and asked: 'Are you our Mummy?'

‘Can you hop and bounce and croak like this?’ she asked, hopping and bouncing and croaking. To their amazement Freddy and his brothers could hop, bounce and croak very well.

'Of course I am your Mummy!' said the frog kindly. 'Welcome home my sons! My! Haven't you grown from those tiny tadpoles to the finest frogs I've ever seen!'

And off Freddy set behind his Mummy, his five brothers following behind - bouncing, hopping and croaking.

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