The sun beat down unmercifully, reducing the pitiful excuse for a creek to a mere trickle as Freddy sat in the shade of the only vegetation visible for as far as the eye could see.
What was I thinking; coming out of hiding now, he thought to himself, no water, no food, I’m as good as dead.
He backed further under the bush as the sun’s position changed and brought him into its glare again. He closed his eyes wishing for nightfall - at least then he’d be out of this awful heat.
The sound of droning penetrated his fitful sleeping. One eye slowly opened and as he raised his head to sniff the air. A low growl rumbled in his throat as he watched them flying in formation. They were heading straight towards him. If he kept perfectly still, maybe they wouldn’t see him.
They came in for a landing, so close to him he could almost reach out and touch them. He opened his other eye and the slight movement gave his position away. There was a flurry of activity as they tried to take off and only managed to run into one another in their panic.
“Calm down boys.” Freddy told them. “It’s not as if I can do anything in my condition.” He waved his left leg limply.
“What happened to you?” one of the braver fliers asked.
“Oh, I got caught in a dog’s mouth and only just managed to escape with my life.” He told them mournfully.
“You’re in our shady spot.” The oldest of the fliers muttered belligerently. “We always sit there just before sundown.
“Well, you can still sit in the shade,” Freddy offered, “Come and sit in the shade of my mouth. You might even be able to find a few leftover crumbs from the dog kibble I managed to steal before I was caught.”
The thought of some nice juicy kibble was too much for four of the five fliers, and they zoomed down and landed on Freddy’s protruding tongue.
Freddy whipped his tongue back as the remaining flier, Billy Blue Tail, stared in horror as his friends disappeared.
With a quick somersault, the young blue tail took off and headed for home.
“Hey, come on back flyboy.” Freddy croaked. “Come and play catch with me.”
Billy kept right on flying, dodging a dragonfly or two in his hurry to report.
His sudden arrival back at the colony on his own caused a huge stir and he was rushed to see the sergeant in charge of BT squadron.
“You believed Freddy; the scourge of flydom?” the sergeant’s eyes bulged even more than usual.
“But Sarge ...”
“But me no buts young ’un. Freddy is a killer; you knew that.”
Billy flapped his wings angrily. “It wasn’t my fault the others got eaten. They were to ones who believed Freddy and flew into his mouth.”
“Then let this be a lesson you never forget.” The sergeant growled as he towered over Billy who could see his reflection a dozen times or more in the sergeant’s eyes. “If you want to stay out of trouble, never look a gift frog in the mouth.”
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