The pond was full of beautiful weeds. Aster sat gazing at them. Jumpy was sitting beside her, twitching his right leg a little from time to time. The sun shimmered on and rose back again from the droplets on the floating leaves. Green as the greenest moss, the leaves reminded Jumpy of his mother. All was happily quiet.
When countless moments had passed, they saw Squishy the frog ribbiting in mild urgency at a distance. He was jumping into the pond, and out of it.
“I’ll go,” said Jumpy. He jumped on the leaves in the pond and reached Squishy in no time.
“What happened?” he asked.
“Oh, dear friend! Tuk-tuk’s bright pink shell has got trapped in the weeds!”
“Where is Tuk-tuk?”
“Oh dear, what are we to do?” Squishy was worried Tuk-tuk might dry up without her shell to keep her warm and moist.
“But where is she? In a safe place, I hope.”
“She is with Belinda. Belinda has given her her spare shell for now.”
“That’s marvellous, Squishy!” Jumpy delighted with the knowledge that they had time to take out the shell. It was all about getting past the weeds.
“Let’s go shell-hunting, friend!” Jumpy jumped, Squishy hopped, and plop they landed on the biggest lotus leaf.
“She was playing somewhere here, she was.”
Jumpy and Squishy looked and looked at all the places in the pond where snails liked to slide about. And then, Squishy saw something pink glimmer.
“Here it is! Look, amidst those lovely weeds there!”
“So it is!”
Jumpy jumped to the nearest lotus leaf and tried to lift the shell up, but it was stuck in the weeds’ embrace. Squishy tried, too. Then Jumpy, and then Squishy again. It wouldn’t come off!
“What are we to do? Oh, dear, dear!” Squishy was worried again.
“Don’t worry, Squishy, you hold my back, and pull,” said Jumpy.
And they both pulled. Together, together. Soon, the weeds gave in, and the shell came out of the water!
“Aha! Here, take it to Tuk-tuk quickly!” said Jumpy.
“I will. Thank you!” said Squishy and off he hopped to where Tuk-tuk was waiting.
Jumpy looked at the water around him. Lotuses, leaves, more leaves, and weeds. All a part of their home. He sighed a deep, knowing sigh, and jumped back to Aster.
“What was the matter?” asked Aster.
“Tuk-tuk’s shell was lost. We found it,” said Jumpy.
“Oh, but that’s awful. The losing! Where did she lose it?”
“In these beautiful weeds.”
“Good you worked together to find it, Jumpy,” said Aster, stifling a yawn.
“My! You must be tired with all the gazing and waiting.”
“I am, in a way. Do you want to go play in the water, Jumpy?”
“Yes, my friend. But let’s keep to the floating leaves on top!”
And they hopped on to the pretty round leaves shining under the sun and over the calm waters and inviting weeds.