Obrazy na stronie

his own song of the “ Stork,” he passed through the insurgent lines, and was back again in Rodentia.

It was there that he heard how the King of the Mandibles had passed through on his way to the house of the Countess Porcupine, because his kingdom had been attacked by his old enemies the locusts, who had inade a visit to the Grasshoppers a pretext for ravaging the country.

There was no time to be lost. Rana, who had by this time become not only Statesman but General, sought the King, and in three days having beaten up recruits, was at the head of an army of Ratti, led by his own band of faithful Batrachians, and the King himself with his Mandibles.

Of the fierce and decisive battle that ensued, and how after having distinguished himself by conducting a brilliant charge at the decisive moment, Rana defeated the Enemy and received the thanks of the King upon the field, nothing need be said here, since, if you don't find it in the Annals of Rana the Batrachian compiled by the learned Anurous and deposited in twenty volumes in the library of Toppititti, I am afraid that the records of the event are altogether lost. For the same reason there is no need to enter into full particulars of the manner in which the Minstrel who had begun by being a Parish Clerk, and by virtue of truth, honesty, and a taste for music, had become Troubadour, Statesman, General, and Chieftain; organised a great army of Batrachians, Mandibles, and Ratti; marched upon Batrachia, drove in the insurgent outposts, slew the ringleaders, pardoned the people, and restored law and order. Enough that he did it; and that having reinstated public justice, he made his friend the Keeper of the Conscience temporary Governor, while he went to seek Sauriana and her father, the Mayor of Slosh.

[graphic][subsumed][ocr errors][merged small]

How Rana rescued Sauriana from the Spider's spell, and how the Mayor

gave his consent to the Frogs' Wedding.


OW one of the three Toads, who tried to trot to

Tedbury, had come back so totally tired that he determined never to take any more long walks, and so he drove a good sleek strong mole in a light waggon, and went into business as a carrier, sitting in front of his vehicle, and smoking his short pipe as happy as the day was long

Having taken to a pleasant and useful occupation he had grown so much better tempered that he was the jolliest old Toad in all the country, and wasn't even


envious of Rana's great fortune; having been heard to say at “The Sun,” where he put up, that Master Rana was always a smart fellow, and taking some credit to himself for being related to the great Batrachian.

As our Troubadour was going through the main street one day he saw Master Bufo—which you will remember was the Toad's name—saluting him with his whip as all drivers do, and went up to speak to him.

Judge of his surprise when he learned that the old fellow knew all about Sauriana, and where she was hidden, and told him also that his old enemy the Duck had quarrelled with her husband, and had since died of a surfeit of sage and onion.

The very next day Rana bade the Court farewell, and took his departure for Toppititti in a mail cart driven by the Toad, while all the distinguished people of the Royal Circle crowded round him ; the gentlemen struggling which should be first to have the honour of packing his boxes and baggage on the mail cart; the Queen-Mother herself in tears upon the breast of her brave preserver, and the whole Court weeping and imploring him to take care of his precious health.

It was deeply affecting; but the heart of the great General, Statesman, Troubadour, Chieftain, and Leader, still clung to its first love. He must rescue Sauriana or perish in the attempt.

And first he went to see his old friend the Oozly bird, who had changed her residence to the streams

« PoprzedniaDalej »