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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
You call that Music?

Two dark green frogs sat on a stone in a small stream. Cold water swirled around them. They were enjoying the warm sun as it snuck from behind the puffy white clouds. "Croak! Croak! Iím hungry," said Fergus. "There havenít been many flies around here lately. Thereís not enough to eat."

"Croak! Iíve not seen a midge or mosquito in days. Iím hungry too," replied Fiona.

Just then an olive green frog, bigger than both of them, plopped on the banks of the stream, right in the mud. Fergus and Fiona were surprised to see the frog. Not only was he big, but also he was wearing a tartan kilt and had a set of bagpipes on his back.

"Who are you?" Fiona asked.

"Croak! Iím Robbie MacRibbit," he answered. Without croaking another sound, he picked up the mouthpiece and began blowing into the bagpipes. His other arm squeezed the red, yellow and green tartan bag. A horrible noise blared from it. It squeaked and sounded like a catfight.

"Stop that noise. Itís far too loud and shrill!" shouted Fergus.

Robbie kept on playing.

"I canít stand this," Fiona said, holding her hands to her head. "Letís go!" She leapt off the stone onto the other side of the stream, followed by Fergus. They both hopped away.

Robbie MacRibbit kept playing his bagpipes. As he danced around his kilt swayed up and down. Within just a few minutes, a horde of flies appeared at the stream. They seemed to be attracted to Robbieís bagpipe music. They swirled around him and landed all over the stones in the stream. Robbie suddenly stopped playing and gobbled down dozens of flies. When he had his fill, he rubbed his plump tummy and disappeared into the heather.

Later that day Fiona and Fergus came back to the stream. "Looks like that bagpipe-playing frog is gone. What a noise that was! Croak! Croak!" Fergus said.

"I hope he doesnít come back again!" Fiona added.

The two frogs leapt onto their stone in the middle of the stream and sat quietly listening to the water trickle as it flowed past. The sun came out again and felt so warm on their cold, damp skin.

PLOP! "What was that noise?" Fiona asked, opening her googley eyes. She spotted Robbie MacRibbit again on the muddy banks of the stream. "Och no! Itís the bagpiper again."

Fergus opened his eyes and looked at Robbie. "Och, youíre no going to play your bagpipes again, are you? They are very loud! Canít you go somewhere else?" he asked.

Robbie picked the mouthpiece up and began playing. His kilt swayed back and forth and he pumped the bagpipes with his arm. Fergus and Fiona didnít want to listen to the music so they hopped away. Soon hundreds of flies and midges appeared. They swarmed about the stream, buzzing and humming. Robbie stopped playing his bagpipes and gobbled down dozens of flies and midges. His long, sticky tongue darted out of his mouth to catch them. "Croak! They taste good," he smiled. When he had his fill, he hopped away.

Fiona and Fergus came back later on. "Good. Heís not here. Perhaps we can get some rest now," Fiona said.

"We can rest, but Iím hungry. Weíve not had a fly or a mosquito this whole day. Where are they all?" Fergus complained.

They hopped onto the stone, closed their eyes and enjoyed the quiet. The sun felt warm and they were happy. After a few minutes they heard another PLOP!

"Och, no. Itís not Robbie MacRibbit again, is it?" Fiona asked, not opening her eyes to see.

"Aye, itís him," Fergus sighed.

The bagpipe music began. The noise was horribly loud. Fiona and Fergus watched Robbie as he squeezed the bagpipe and blew into the mouthpiece. They didnít like the noise, so they hopped away as quickly as they could. Robbieís kilt swayed back and forth as he danced. No sooner had they left than hundreds of flies, midges, and mosquitoes appeared over the stream. They made a loud droning sound and buzzed all around Robbie. The longer he played, the more insects came.

Fergus stopped hopping. "I think we should go back to the stream and tell Robbie MacRibbit that he has to go somewhere else to play his bagpipes. After all, we were there first!"

"Youíre right, Fergus. We were. Letís go back and tell him he has to leave," Fiona agreed.

The two frogs leapt and hopped all the way back to the stream. They could hear the horrible bagpipe music playing from far away. When they plopped to the muddy banks they saw Robbie playing his bagpipes and they saw hundreds of fat, juicy flies, midges and mosquitoes. "Whatís this?" Fergus asked.

Robbie stopped playing. His long, sticky tongue shot out of his mouth and he started gobbling down the insects. Fiona and Fergus, seeing him, did the same. They ate and ate and ate until they were full. As they lay in the mud, all three too full to move, Fiona asked, "Robbie, do the flies come every time you play your bagpipes?"

"Croak! Yes, so do the midges and mosquitoes. Youíve always left too quickly and missed out," he told them.

"Well, well, well," said Fergus. "Weíll not be leaving again. You go ahead and play your bagpipes anytime you want, Robbie. Weíll never be hungry again. For some reason they like your music."

From then on, three times a day, Robbie played his bagpipes. It wasnít long before Fiona and Fergus got their own kilts and learned to play. Never again did they go hungry.

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