About the Story | Full Graphics Version

First Edition ©1975 by Kurtis Scaletta
Second Edition
©2011 by Kurtis Scaletta

Dedicated to Mrs. Round, my second grade teacher, who made me write this. I decided writing is what I wanted to do and never looked back.

All amphibians and forest creatures in this book are imaginary. Any resemblence to persons or politicians living or dead is purely unintentional even satirically.

Toad was bored.

Toad: I’m going to have a little fun with my forest friends.

Toad: Hello Porcupine, it’s a pleasure to see you and how are you this fine spring morning? So glad to hear it. I am well myself although and I don’t like to be the one to spread ill will among friends I was just visiting Rabbit and the state of her home was quite appalling. Maybe she isn’t feeling well or maybe she’s just lazy and doesn’t clean but it was pretty bad and smelled funny and was otherwise a disgrace.

Porcupine: I’m sorry to hear it! I was on my way there myself, but I hate messy houses.

[Fox is eating a honeycomb]

Toad: Greetings, Fox, and I hope you are enjoying that lunch, which looks rather tasty. I am quite fond of honey myself. Although... well, you may not want to hear it, but what kind of friend would I be if I didn’t tell you that Bear licked that very honeycomb earlier this morning and then left it there. Maybe she was saving it for later or maybe she didn’t like the taste but I thought you’d want to know now that it’s too late to do anything about it.

Fox: Ugh. That’s pretty gross. Glad I hadn’t tasted it yet. OK, maybe I did a little.

Toad: Good evening owl. I’m going home for the night and I expect you are just heading out. I just ran into Porcupine and she spread awful gossip about Rabbit which I know isn’t true. I also saw Fox steal some honeycomb from Bear. The state of the forest isn’t what it used to be, I’ll tell you.

Owl: ?

[Outside of Bear’s cave with “DO NOT DISTURB” sign posted]

Owl saw mouse, and told her what Toad said.

Mouse: Hello, Owl. Bear has been hibernating all week. No, I haven’t seen Fox around here. Toad told you what? Well you know how he is. I don’t trust him.

Mouse found Fox, who was on a walk with Porcupine. She told them both what Owl told her.

Fox: I can’t believe Toad lied about me! Now I know he lied to me about Bear.

Porcupine: Toad must have lied to me about Rabbit, too. I’m going to see her.

[Rabbit is surrounded by little bunnies playing]

Porcupine apologized to rabbit and told her the whole story.

Rabbit: We missed you yesterday Porcupine, but I’m glad you came by today. Thanks for your honesty. I’m just mortified by what Toad told you. I do try to keep a tidy house, but it’s so hard with all the little ones....

Porcupine: No! Your home is lovely! It’s very well kept. It smells nice, too, like cinamon and buttercups.

Owl called a meeting to talk about Toad.

Mouse: Kick him out of the forest.

Porcupine: I can poke him with a quill.

Owl: I could put him on a tree limb and leave him there until he says he sorry.

Fox: Make him eat bugs. Oh wait... he’d like that.

Rabbit: Give him the silent treatment.

Bear heard the discussion and decided to join them.

Bear: How am I supposed to hibernate with all this commiserating and plotting going on? What’s the situation? Toad is up to his usual shenanigans?

She had an idea.

Bear: Let’s throw Toad a big party.

[All the animals gasp]

The next day at the swamp....

Hi Baby Bunny. You have a letter for me? What a surprise.

Everyone is throwing a party for me? But why would they?

They wouldn’t throw a party for me. It’s a trick. I’ll show up and nobody will be there.

There’s no way I’m falling for that trick. They must think I’m a fool.

Toad dove into the swamp.

He sank into the mud at the bottom and hid.

I bet Rabbit’s party has started by now. Ha! There is no party. They thought I would fall for that old trick. They’re all hiding and waiting for me to come so they can see my face when nobody’s there. Well, I’d like to see their faces when I don’t even show up.

Hmm... maybe I will.

[Toad arrives at the party dressed as a raccoon. There are guests, a big banner celebrating toad, and a cake.] Nobody will see through this clever disguise... But wait. There really is a party for me! I’m so confused!

Bear: Hey, you did come! I was wrong. I told the others that it’s a liar who loses the most trust in others.

Owl: But how come you’re wearing a costume?

Toad: Ulp. Bear was right. My own lying may me doubt everyone else and I nearly missed my own party. Thanks for the swell party and the valuable lesson. I will never tell another lie.

Rabbit: Well, now that you’re here you can try this fly cake I made just for you.

Toad (thinking): Uh-oh. This the worst cake I ever tasted, and I said I would quit lying.

Toas (says): Rabbit, this cake is delicious!

[back of book]

Is Rabbit’s home a mess? Did Fox steal from Bear? Is Porcupine talking behind Rabbit’s back?

Or is Toad just bored?

Find out in

“Great work, Kurt!”
- Mrs. Round, 2nd Grade Teacher

“We’re so proud of you!”
- Mrs. Scaletta, Mom

Featured on the bulletin board outside the second grade classroom at Lakenheath Elementary School