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Regis Auffray

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By Regis Auffray
Monday, July 11, 2005

Rated "G" by the Author.

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My attempt at a children's story...



     There once was a frog who did not believe that he should be a frog.  As such, he told his friends but not his relatives, for he had none of the latter, that he would someday leave them and their beloved swamp.


     The frog's name was Nanor, pronounced [nah-nor].  It was not really such a spectacular or very different name and the other frogs did not think much of it.  However, Nanor felt that his name was indeed very significant although he could not really explain why he felt as he did. 


     Nanor continually tried to tell anyone willing to listen that he had come to the swamp through very unusual circumstances.  Whenever he would tell of how he firmly believed that in his previous life he had been a handsome young man with some importance in his community, the other frogs would break out in laughter.


     "Ho!  Ho!  Ho!" laughed the large frogs.


     "Ha!  Ha!  Ha!" laughed the medium-sized frogs.


     "Hee!  Hee!  Hee!" laughed the small frogs.


     Although Nanor felt sad because the other frogs did not believe his story, he never gave up hope that some day he would once again be a man and that he would be able to continue the life that he had left so many years before. 


     You may be wondering what kind of story Nanor told anyone who would listen; so I will tell you the way that he told it.



     Whenever someone was willing to listen, Nanor, the frog, would begin his tale and continue as follows:


     "A long time ago, I lived in a small village with my parents and my brothers and sisters.  My father who was known as Master Ronan, pronounced [Row-nahn], had been appointed leader of the village.  It was his responsibility to make sure that all went well with all the people and the animals living there.  My father was a just man.  He ensured that everyone had enough to eat as well as a comfortable place to rest at night or to seek shelter when the wild storms blew in from the north country.  Even though my father was the recognized leader of the village, our family lived much as did the rest of the community.  Each adult member of the village had a job to do.  Children began to help when they were still quite young.  It made each person happy to know that he or she was a useful member of the community.


     For many years, our village lived in peace and contentment.  I grew up following in my father's footsteps.  I learned how to understand those who lived around me.  I learned how each person is different and has something unique to offer.  As the years went by, I began to see how there are usually several ways of looking at problems and situations.  I saw that it was good to look at things from a variety of points of view before making a choice or deciding an important matter.


     The years went by.  Eventually, my father grew old and the people of the village appointed me to look after them the way my father had.


     I continued the leadership that my father had shown.  One day, however, things changed suddenly.  A neighbouring village leader had decided that he should lead our community as well as his own.  He came dressed in flashy clothing and accompanied by a band of musicians.  The colours were bright, the music was loud, and to make things even worse; my rival leader handed out free ale to all who would have it.  Before long, there was dancing, singing, and yelling in the streets of our peaceful village.  I could see what was going to happen.  I pleaded with the people not to be taken in by the flashy newcomer.  Few listened however, and soon my rival began to speak.  He promised great things for our village.  The people began to yell encouragement, to cheer, and to applaud.  In desperation, I demanded a chance to be heard.  To my surprise, the new arrival granted me permission to speak. 


     Unaware of the evil intent of my rival, I jumped at the chance to address my fellow villagers.  My heart was full of what I wanted to express to them.  I reminded them of all that we had accomplished.  I tried to make them see that it would be hard to find anyone in the village who was truly unhappy.  As I spoke, I grew thirsty and asked for a glass of water.  It was brought to me by one of my rival's servants.  As soon as the water touched my tongue, I felt myself grow small.  I went to get up but all I managed was a hop.  It was then that I realized what had happened.  I had been turned into a frog! 


     Most of the people watching were so excited and caught up by the newcomer's charm that they did not even notice my disappearance.  I had no choice but to seek a new home.  This is the way that I came to live in this lovely swamp with you, my friends."


     This is the story that Nanor, the frog, told.  Unfortunately, everytime he told it, the same thing happened:


     "Ho!  Ho!  Ho!"  laughed the large frogs.


     "Ha!  Ha!  Ha!"  laughed the medium-sized frogs.


     "Hee!  Hee!  Hee!"  laughed the small frogs.


     This went on for quite some time.  Nanor was getting tired of telling his story and being made fun of.  One day, he had an idea.  He knew that all of the animals in the area truly respected Houbou, pronounced [oo-boo], the wise owl who made his home in one of the hollow trees of the swamp.  Nanor decided to ask Houbou to verify his story.  Everyone knew that Houbou knew everything that went on in the swamp and its surroundings.  It was also common knowledge that the wise owl was very very old and that he knew a great deal about local history.


     Thus it came about that one evening when the fat moon sailed through a cloudless summer sky, Houbou came to address the frogs of the swamp.  The story that he had to tell was very much the same as the one that Nanor had told time and time again.  The wise owl spoke in a solemn voice and when he was finished, not a single frog laughed.  In fact, the swamp had never been so quiet.  After a short time, little by little, each of the frogs that lived in the swamp came by to apologize to Nanor.  The way of life that he had learned as a child had not been forgotten by Nanor and he accepted the apologies with forgiveness and understanding.


     So it came to be that the attitude of the frogs of the swamp changed towards Nanor.  Each member of the swamp community wanted to help him if it were possible.  However, not a single frog knew what to do to restore Nanor to his former shape and stature. 


     Meanwhile, Houbou the owl had watched what was going on.  One evening, he spoke as follows:


     "I know someone living in the nearby forest who may be able to help.  She is a very kind magician.  Gwendolyn Of The Trees is her name.  She would not refuse to help us if she can.  Of that I am certain."


     The following evening. Houbou came back with news.


     "The lovely magician, Gwendolyn, says that you must be able to ride a horse back to the village, Nanor.  Once there, if you jump in the arms of the evil leader's daughter, Isabelle, you will regain your human form."


     At these words, the frogs began to moan in despair for all knew that frogs do not ride horses.  Nanor, however, became full of hope.  He thanked Houbou and immediately began to think of a plan that would restore him to the people of his village.


     It was known that the evil leader and his men often came by the swamp on their way to the forest to hunt.  Nanor knew that his only chance was to jump on a horse as it went by.  He knew that from the ground, this was not possible.  That is why the rest of the frogs were sad and had given up hope.  Nanor, in spite of this, had an idea:  He would climb a tree.  Imagine the reaction of the frogs when they heard his idea.  A frog climb a tree!


     "Ho!  Ho!  Ho!"  laughed the large frogs.


     "Ha!  Ha!  Ha!"  laughed the medium-sized frogs.


     "Hee!  Hee!  Hee!"  laughed the small frogs.


     Nanor was not discouraged.  He began to practice immediately;  and one day, he found himself so high in a tree that he could see his village in the distance.  As he watched, he saw in a cloud of dust the evil leader and his men approaching on their horses.  Nanor was in a tree just above the path that the horsemen were following.  As the leader's horse went by, Nanor jumped unnoticed in the leader's hunting bag.


     Nanor had always loved all the animals of the forest and it was with sincere hope that he prayed that the leader and his hunters would find nothing to shoot that day.  As darkness was beginning to fall and the hunters, hungry and tired, had found nothing; the leader gave orders to return to the village.


     The horsemen galloped back to their homes and as the leader entered his own house, he threw his hunting bag on the table in disgust.  His daughter, sitting at the table, was secretly pleased for she was a kind soul who loved life and all that it has to offer.  She did not approve of her father's ways.  His hunting of the animals of the forest had always made her sad.


     It was at this point that Nanor jumped out of the bag and into the arms of the evil leader's daughter.  Instantly, Nanor returned to his former shape.  As he did, he appologized for intruding so rudely upon the young woman's space.  She, however, did not seem displeased at all.  On the other hand, her father immediately recognized the young man as the young Master Ronan.  He was so shocked that he fell into a long sleep.  As far as I know, he has not yet awakened from it.


     So it came about that Nanor became once more Master Ronan.  The frogs of the swamp understood why their friend had thought that his name was significant.  The better spellers among them realized that "Nanor" was "Ronan" spelled backwards.  They had also learned from him that one should never give up hope.  The old proverb "where there is a will there is a way" had certainly been proven true by Nanor, the frog.


     The young Master Nanor restored the previous order to his village.  He made certain that everyone was able to feel necessary to the community.  Everyone felt that he or she had something to offer no matter how different he or she might be from his or her friends and relatives.


     I have been told that Ronan and Isabelle ( as you will recall, that is the lovely daughter's name) now have a family.  And oh, how their children love to hear the story of their father's adventure.  Believe me, no one laughs when he tells it.


     It has also come to my attention that Ronan, after discussion with the people of the village, and much to the delight of the frogs and the animals, has declared that the swamp and the forest are now a public park where no hunting is allowed. 


     I suppose that if you want to pay a visit to the village that I have just told you about, it could be arranged; especially if you have a good imagination.


      Oh, by the way, now you also know where tree frogs got their start.


 The End



© Copyright 2005 Regis Auffray

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Reviewed by lois christensen 3/29/2015
A wonderful story = lots of interesting facts that are so true. Enjoyed reading it so much.
Reviewed by JMS Bell 7/6/2010
Reviewed by Elizabeth Russo 4/29/2010
I'm glad you never grew up Regis and I never want to either! Wonderful, imaginative and touching story with a good lesson for all, not just the small ones. The children will be engaged from the start and I can easily imagine them sitting next to their parent as they are being told the story, peering at the pictures that go with the story and asking "and then what happens?" ... I really enjoyed this charming tale! ~Hugs, Elizabeth :)
Reviewed by Nicole Weaver 7/21/2009
You masterfully told this story. what a heart you have, you like to see the good in people, I simply love that aspect about you. Great job!
Reviewed by Melissa Mendelson 1/24/2009
It's funny that you mention that this was an attempt at writing children's stories for this story took off to great heights. I was captivated by the young man/frog's demise and how he found strength, courage in regaining what was stolen away, and I would've loved finding and reading this story as a child, inspiring me to never give up. I hope that you keep "trying" to write children's stories because you have a beautiful gift in doing it.
Reviewed by Sheila Roy 11/30/2007

Bravo! Why is this story not bound with a gold binding and sold in stores? You are a wonderful story-teller! Great lesson, imagery pops, and happily-ever-after brings it full circle. Enjoyed it thoroughly~

Reviewed by David Perry 8/31/2007
Your gentle-genius shines so bright! I must respectfully disagree with a previous reviewer; the flashback acts to bring the reader deeper into the story. By going back to explain the origin of his predicament, Nanor gets center-stage and the narrator does decrease.
Reviewed by Elizabeth Price 6/23/2007
I love the story and its moral. Never give up hope. Excellent. Liz
Reviewed by Mary Grace Patterson 1/4/2007
A good story. It would be a great one that kids would enjoy.....M
Reviewed by Linda Ames 12/12/2006
Enjoyed your story, Reg. Good lessons to learn in a joyful way. Keep at it (writing children's stories). Peace, linda
Reviewed by Joyce Devenish 10/23/2006
I love this story. I think it's wonderful. It will make a great picture book. I'll buy it. Good luck. Regards Joyce
Reviewed by Jackie (Micke) Jinks 10/8/2006
What a delightful tale to read!! No matter the age, we can all learn from stories for children; give us that joyful, tingling feeling all over...

Reviewed by m j hollingshead 3/18/2006
i enjoyed the tale,
Reviewed by Chrissy McVay 12/9/2005
You claimed this was an 'attempt' at a children's story, if so, it was a very good attempt. I was delighted and amused. Bravo to Nanor for protecting the swamplands by giving them park status!
Reviewed by Henry Lefevre 12/1/2005
Bravo. I loved your story.

Reviewed by Birgit and Roger Pratcher 11/30/2005
A wonderful story, but you should not call it an attempt, instead you should write more stories for children. One can almost hear your voice while reading it...
Birgit and Roger
Reviewed by Tracey O' 11/18/2005
Regis, This is such a delightful story. I hope that you will get this in a book somehow and get it to the Children. This is really a great learning and teaching story and such a smiley happy story and will have all children at full attention. Maybe you could visit the schools even the day care centers and read this delightful story to them. This is Wonderful!! A great bed time story too for thier parents to read to them! Babysitters, etc.
Excellent story Regis! Je T'aime Mon Ami!
"Nanor" was "Ronan" ~~ genius!
Tracey xoox(C :)42
Reviewed by Shoma Mittra 10/30/2005
Marvellous !!! What a wonderful story teller you are, Regis. :-) shoma
Reviewed by Alexandra Riera 9/26/2005
Well... what can I say... I liked it very much and my daughter liked it too.... that's one of the guiny pigs I use for myself...and I used it for your story... She's 5. Apart from having a good story, you also have a message which I think it's important.
Reviewed by Lori M 9/10/2005
What a wonderful story!
This made me SMILE!
Reviewed by Lee Garrett 8/7/2005
You have a good story here at heart. I would recommend the following changes however; the POV of the story is that of the narrator--who's like a character in the story itself. You should rewrite this so that the narrator is far less visible. Get into the mind of the frog. It's his story after all. Add in sensory details so we know it is the from talking. Also, a flash back breaks the chronology of the story unnecessarily. Begin with the public debate, the bespelling, then go to Nanor's escape to the wilds. Then bring in the rest of the story as it happens. You have a strong and imaginative concept here. But they main thing that's holding you back is that you're breaking a cardianl rule; "Show, don't tell." Good luck with this.
Reviewed by Barbara Terry 8/1/2005
Oh dear brother of mine, this is sooooo beautiful. A story for children of all ages, including me. I sat with bated breath hoping Nanor (Ronan), would be returned to his former self, and the evil leader would be dealt with. Your "attempt" at writing a children's story, by the reviews I see, is more that just a mere "attempt." It is great. If this were published in a childrens magazine, you would be a childrens author, as you are here. Very good write brother. Keep writing for the children of the world, we need these stories to show us the true path to happiness. May the Lord Jesus bless you, and those whom you love, and be with you always, and at your side constantly. With much love in my heart, stubborn to a fault, joy to the world, peace on easrth, & ((((((((((MANY WONDERFUL SISTERLY HUGGGGSSSS))))))))))), your little terrified sister, Barbie

"If I have to be this girl in me, Then I may as well be."
Reviewed by Sandra Mushi 7/18/2005
A beautiful story, Regis, with a beautiful worthy message! The message is useful to all ages! Good one, Regis!

God bless,

Reviewed by Sandie Angel 7/16/2005
Love the story, Regis! Amazing plots and it is so well-told. Really enjoyed this one indeed!!!!!

Sandie May Angel a.k.a. Sandie Angel :o)
Reviewed by Chanti Niven 7/16/2005
What a wonderful children's story Regis. You may join the ranks of Hans Christian Anderson and the brothers Grimm. When will you write the next one?
love Chanti
Reviewed by Michael Ault 7/16/2005

Loved it! I am going to print it out and give it to my daughter, she keeps some of her friends children and this would make a delightful story to read to them. Thanks!

Mike Ault
Reviewed by Aberjhani 7/13/2005
Hey, way to go Ronan. A great story with a great message. You're my inspiration guru for the week:-)
Reviewed by Carole Mathys 7/11/2005
An absolutely delightful story Regis, I will read this one to the young ones in my family, they are sure to love it.

Peace and love, Carole
Reviewed by Ed Matlack 7/11/2005
"...paix et amour a toi...!"

Don't know what it means but everyone is saying it, so there you go, Regis, hope we are not engaged now...LOL!? It twas quite enchanting...Ed
Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 7/11/2005

If this is an attempt, more, more, more! Entertaining and enchanting, from a gentle soul. :) Well done, mon ami Canadien! :)

(((HUGS))) and love, Karla. :)

My French is abominable...just like the snowman LOL
Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado 7/11/2005
delightful write, mon ami regis! very well done; i applaud you! c'est magnifique!

(((HUGS))) and much love, your friend in tx., karen lynn. :D

paix et amour a toi! :)
Reviewed by Michelle Mills 7/11/2005
This is a lovely, lovely story coming from an equally lovely person. Michelle
Reviewed by George Carroll 7/11/2005
Beautiful fairy tale worthy of all ages. The moral of the story is one of peace and forberance and I found it to be an enjoyable read. Thank you master story teller.
Reviewed by Tinka Boukes 7/11/2005
Oh what a delightful story....and you are a true prince "Governer" yourself Master Regis!!

Love TinkaSweets :)
Reviewed by Sarah Tagert 7/11/2005
wonderful, enchanting write!!
Reviewed by Poetess of The Soul Sheila G 7/11/2005
What a story teller... YOu read at libraries too Reg? Children would love YOU!:) YOu have a GENTLe Soul-Spirit! I like to read you often- I pick up on your gentle thoughts- Continue writing Reg... I think your age audience for this story would be around 8-12yrs. I could be wrong- cuz- I'm in my 40's YOUNG at heart and I Truly loved it.. YOu kept me anting to know more. I like your wording for certain age groups... YOU did read this to your little GrandAngels -right-? How excited did they get? Or am I confusing you with Felix? Sorry, if I did... Keep Writing - Enjoy! Your newly inspired inspirations Mr. Storyman- WArm HuGs 2 U- Lady,SheeeOX Have a GReAT Night.. sTay cool....
Reviewed by Jerry Bolton 7/11/2005
Very, very good, Master Storyteller, Regis! You are of the ilk of storytellers of the fairytales and gobblins. I quite enjoyed it. I truly believe that you are a gentle person. Me? Naw, I'm just me, but I can sense goodness wherever it is. Great job, man.

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