There once was a little bug named Freckles. He was named that, because he had dots all over his cute little body. You know what Freckles liked to eat for dinner? He liked to eat bright red strawberries out of Susan’s garden. That was dangerous, because Susan didn’t like little bugs eating her strawberries. In fact, when little bugs eat her strawberries, it makes her very mad indeed.
Freckle’s best friend Leroy, dressed in his little yellow overalls, popped up next to Freckles. “Hi ya. Whatcha doing Freckles?”
“I’m looking at that strawberry. Its almost ripe, and ready to haul off. Just looking at it makes my mouth water. I can’t wait to sink my teeth into that strawberry. Um, um good! You know what I mean, Leroy?” Freckles stood there, rubbing his tummy with delight.
Leroy scratched his head while watching Freckles. “Are you out of your mind, Freckles? Susan’s going to get you for sure, if you don’t be careful! We have plenty of strawberries to get. We don’t need to mess with this lady’s strawberries. She’s dangerous! You better stay away from her.”
“Na, she won’t get me, Leroy. I’m wearing my red overalls, so if she sees me, she’ll just think I’m a lil, red strawberry.” Freckles felt very sure of himself.
Suddenly, the two bugs heard heavy footsteps. Leroy looked at Freckles, scared. “Whoa, it’s Susan! Let’s get out of here, Freckles!” With that, Leroy ran as fast as a little bug can run, and popped down a hole. Freckles hid under a leaf. He thought to himself, she won’t see me under here.’ Then Freckles saw fingers coming toward him! Oh no, I hope they don’t get me!’
The fingers came closer.
“Ye gads, those fingers are gonna get me! Help!”
The fingers stopped, and touched the strawberry that Freckles had his eyes on. The fingers moved away.
“Whew, that was close! I thought they had me, for sure! I’ll have to be more careful. Boy, that was a great adventure! It’s fun to get scared but I sure don’t want to get caught.
Freckles buddy Leroy, popped up out of his hole where he was hiding. “Is she gone?”
“Yes, the fingers are gone!” Freckles declared.
“Fingers?? What do you mean? Those were Susan’s fingers! You sound as though you had fun! You could get in terrible trouble if you get caught!”
Freckles looked away. “Oh, you sound like my mamma! I’m just trying to have a little fun! You are my best buddy. You should understand my wanting to have fun. Right?”
Leroy turned to go. “I have to go home now. I hear my mamma calling me. I’ll see you tomorrow, Freckles.” Off he went, popping back down his hole.
The next day, Freckles went to go check on the strawberry to see if it was ready to pick. He burst up out of the hole all excited, hoping the strawberry would be ready for him to haul off! He bounded over to it. Sure enough, it had turned bright red. It was a little strawberry, so it would be small enough for him to haul off. Freckles went to go get his wheel barrow.
Freckles took his wheel barrel over to the strawberry and started to haul it off. He pushed, and he tugged! It was heavy!
He finally got it over to the hole and was about to put it in when he heard those footsteps again. ‘Uh oh,’ he thought, scared. ‘If she sees me with this strawberry she will get me this time! What do I do?’
Freckles hurriedly shoved the strawberry toward the hole, but it got stuck! It wouldn’t budge! ‘Now what do I do? She’s getting closer!’
Her fingers came toward him. ‘They sure seem angry, if fingers can get angry.' They came closer and closer. ‘Oh no, she might get me this time. What do I do? I can’t leave my tasty strawberry! But what do I do?’ The fingers were almost upon him!
‘I better get out of here! That strawberry is not worth dying for! I’m getting out of here!’ He took off running.
Swiftly, he felt fingers flick him across the garden!
He tumbled head over heels, over and over and over. Finally he came to a stop.
He thought it was over, but then he saw the fingers coming again. Without warning, the fingers picked him up.
He felt himself rising higher and higher.
‘Oh no, where am I going? Is she going to eat me? Ooh, surely I wouldn’t taste good! Then he found himself face to face with the owner of the strawberry he stole. ‘If I ever get out of this alive, I’ll never come in this garden again!’ Freckles felt so scared he was shaking.
He squirmed and he squirmed, but the fingers were too strong! ‘Well, I guess there’s nothing I can do. She’s going to eat me.’
Then, when Freckles thought he would never think of a way out, an idea came to him. ‘It might work, I’ve got to try it.’ He started to nibble on her hand. He was hoping to cause her to itch, and then just maybe, she would let him go. Nibble, nibble, nibble.
The fingers opened. Freckles floated to the ground.
Then as fast as he could, he got up and started running, as fast as a little bug can run!
He ran toward his hole. He saw the strawberry on the way. Na. That strawberry got me in too much trouble. He didn’t need it.
He popped down the hole. Whew, he was safe! Leroy was waiting for him when Freckles arrived, all out of breath.
“What happened?” Leroy asked.
Freckles told him, then said, “No more going into other peoples gardens. From now on, I’m going to stay where I belong!”