Books

Frog and Toad are Doing Their Best (Book Excerpt)

Computers 

Frog and Toad sat inside the house at their computers.
“We have been sitting all day,” said Frog.
“Yes,” said Toad.
“We should go outside,” suggested Frog.
“Absolutely,” agreed Toad.
Frog and Toad sat at their computers.
An hour passed.
“We should go outside,” said Frog. “In a minute,” said Toad.


The Lottery 

Toad scratched off a lottery ticket. “Frog, Frog!” cried Toad.
Frog came running into the room. “What is it, Toad?” said Frog.
“I won $5 dollars in the lottery!” said Toad.
“That is wonderful,” said Frog.
“Yes,” beamed Toad. “And it is only my first one!” Toad pointed to a huge pile of scratch-off lottery tickets spread out on the table.
Frog turned pale.
“Toad,” said Frog. “That is a huge waste of money.”
“Not at this rate!” said Toad. “I am already at a three-dollar profit!”
“Is there any way you can return some of these?” asked Frog.
“Why would I?” said Toad. “I am going to be a millionaire!”
Toad scratched off another ticket.
“Blah. I lost,” said Toad, tossing the ticket on the floor. “Oh well!”
“Toad,” said Frog, using his most serious voice. “The odds of winning the lottery are so slim—”
Toad gave Frog a look.
It was his most annoyed look.
“Frog,” said Toad. “Let me enjoy this.”
“I can do that,” said Frog.
Toad scratched off another ticket.
“WINNER!” yelled Toad. “Two more dollars for Toad!”



“Congratulations,” said Frog. “You must be very lucky.”


Bird Watching 

Frog and Toad were sitting outside. Frog was writing in a notebook.
“What are you doing, Frog?” he said.
“I am watching birds,” said Frog. “And logging what I see in my birding journal.”
“I like to watch birds,” said Toad.
“It is very nice,” said Frog. “Join me.”
Frog and Toad looked out into the front yard.
They watched a cardinal fly by.
“That is one,” said Frog, scribbling.
They saw a blue jay on her way to the park.
“There is another,” said Toad.
They observed their new neighbor, a chickadee, drag a lawnmower out of their garage.
“That is three,” said Frog, writing in his journal.
Toad waved hello.
He watched as the chickadee mowed his lawn.
“Frog,” asked Toad, “Do birds go bird watching?”
“I do not know,” shrugged Frog.
“Maybe they watch us,” suggested Toad.
Frog lowered his binoculars slowly.
“I never thought of that,” said Frog.
Frog and Toad sat in silence, thinking.
After a long time, Toad spoke.
“Frog, I like watching birds. I do not mind if they watch us.”
“Me neither,” said Frog, lifting his binoculars again. “It only seems fair.”


The Meal 

Toad sat near the pond, reading on his phone. Frog walked by.
“Hello, Toad,” said Frog.
Toad did not say anything.
“Toad?” said Frog. “Can you hear me?”
Frog nudged Toad with his foot.
Toad looked up, startled.
“Oh! Hello, Frog,” said Toad. “I did not hear you.” “What are you looking up?” said Frog.
“Places to eat,” grumbled Toad. “I am hungry. But
I cannot decide where to go.”
“Maybe we could go somewhere together,” said Frog. “Good idea,” said Toad.
“I will look up some options,” said Frog.
“Me too,” said Toad.
Frog and Toad looked at their phones.
They looked at their phones for a long time.
A cloud drifted slowly above the pond.
“We could get Italian food,” said Toad, “or split a big plate of nachos.”
“What about pizza?” said Frog.
Frog and Toad looked at their phones.
The wind blew the reeds back and forth.
Their stomachs growled.
“How about burgers?” said Toad.
“I had a burger for lunch,” sighed Frog.
Toad stomped his feet in frustration.
“I do not care what we eat!” cried Toad. “We need to make a decision!”
A crow swooped down.
“Excuse me,” said the crow. “Are you lost?”
“No,” Toad croaked miserably. “We are trying to decide where to eat.”
“What about Subway?” suggested the crow.
Toad hid his face in his hands and moaned loudly.
“He does not mean to be rude,” explained Frog. “He just really dislikes Subway.”
The crow shrugged and flew away.
Toad felt his stomach rumble.
“Frog,” said Toad, “I am very hungry. And my phone is about to die.”
“Mine too,” said Frog. “What if we go home and have leftover spaghetti?”
“Sounds great,” said Toad. “And we can charge our phones.”


 

From the book, Frog and Toad Are Doing Their Best [A Parody]: Bedtime Stories for Trying Times by Jennie Egerdie, illustrated by Ellie Hajdu. Reprinted by permission of Running Press, part of the Perseus division of Hachette Book Group. Copyright © 2021 by Jennie Egerdie.

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by Jennie Egerdie

Jennie Egerdie

Jennie Egerdie is a writer and performer from Canada living in New York City. Her writing has been featured in McSweeney’s, The Belladonna Comedy, Points in Case, and shortlisted for PEN Canada’s New Voices Award.

by Illustrator Ellie Hajdu

Illustrator Ellie Hajdu

Some drawings and some puppets…