One bright, sunny morning, Pindi and Mindi, 10-year-old twin fairies, set out for their short trip to visit their grandparents, the King and Queen of the Weeping Cherry Tree Fairies. Excited about visiting their grandparents, they chattered happily as they flew towards the front garden and the Weeping Cherry Tree. Guards trumpeted their arrival as they landed on the entry branch. Their grandmother, Queen Ainsel, met them in the grand hall. After warm embraces and lots of kisses, the queen waved them towards the end of the hall for treats. The sisters gorged themselves on bee honey and flower nectar. When they had eaten their fill, Queen Ainsel clapped her hands and said, “ok, now let’s play!” Pindi, Mindi, and the queen spent the afternoon playing and laughing and singing.
That evening, as the sky just began to darken into the gloaming, Pindi, Mindi, and Queen Ainsel listened to the crickets sing their nightly chorus. Pindi loved listening to the crickets. But she heard something deeper, something lower. “Grandmother, what is that other sound – the one that isn’t crickets?” she asked.
“Frogs.” Queen Ainsel said, “The frogs are sounding an alarm. Something has happened, but I can’t quite make out what they are croaking.”
“You speak frog?” asked Mindi, desperately impressed.
“Yes, off course,” said the queen. “They are in our neighbors after all. Our kingdom is responsible for the crickets and the frogs.”
“I must go tell King Oisin. He will know what to do.” And Queen Ainsel flew off to alert her husband to the frogs’ trouble.
King Oisin strode quickly out to the branch where his grandchildren waited. He hugged and kissed them both and then fluttered out beyond the branch and listened carefully. “A baby frog is lost, and the frogs need help to rescue him. I need to talk with the frogs and crickets and then we’ll figure out how to help.” He flew out towards the street to talk with frogs and crickets and learn what he could about what had happened.
A fierce rain storm had blown through a day before and the storm drains were blocked with garbage, causing the water to back up into the frog’s underground home. The baby frog had been swept up in the dark rising water. The Frog Prince hopped back and forth in his lair, fretting and worrying.
King Oisin flew back to his tree, thinking frantically about what he could do to help. After updating Queen Ainsel and his granddaughters, he zoomed off to see if he could find the baby frog. The gusty wind blew him off course and he fought valiantly against it, straining towards the gutter. He saw paper coffee cups and lids, empty food containers, and plastic bags piled against the grate, preventing the water from flowing through. “Stupid, selfish giants,” he muttered to himself. “They have no idea how much damage they do to our world.”
He fought his way through the storm drain and into the dark, dank underground pipes. At last out of the wind, he flew straight and fast. He saw the baby frog clinging desperately to the slippery side of the drain pipes, trapped against a grate by the garbage piling up around him.
Meanwhile, back at the Weeping Cherry Tree, Pindi paced impatiently. “I won’t wait for Grandfather!”, she proclaimed. Defiantly, she flew down towards the gutter and through the storm drain, followed by her sister Mindi. The frogs didn’t know them, and they attacked, thinking Pindi and Mindy were mosquitoes. The fairies flew crazily down the pipes, dodging and swerving to avoid the long sticky tongues. “I’m not a mosquito!” Pindi yelled as loud as she could, her voice barely carrying over the sound of the water. “I’m a fairy! Don’t eat me! I’m trying to help you!”
Pindi and Mindi flew on and on inside the damp, smelly pipes, staying just above the water. They were getting tired when Mindi shouted, “Look, there’s Grandfather up ahead! And there’s the baby frog. Let’s go help!”
“Pindi, Mindi, go back. The water is getting too high. It’s too dangerous for you down here,” King Oisin shouted.
“But we want to help!” called Pindi. “We CAN help!”
“Fly back to the storm drain and find the Frog Prince. Tell him I’ve found the baby frog and need his help to push the garbage away from the grate. Tell him to bring his strongest frogs and meet me here – quickly.”
“O-ok,” Pindi replied, trembling a little, remembering how she and Mindi had to dodge those long sticky frog tongues. They turned and flew back towards the storm drain. The frogs remembered them and didn’t try to eat them this time.
“Frog Prince! Frog Prince! King Oisin sent us to tell you he had found the baby frog and he needs your help. Quickly.” Pindi breathlessly delivered her grandfather’s message to the massive, green, slimy Frog Prince, who eyed them like he would like to eat them for dinner. “We’re small, but we’re fairies, not food.”
“Ok,” grunted the Frog Prince, I’ll tell my people not to eat you.” He turned and croaked out his orders. A dozen large frogs appeared from the sides of the watery frog home and followed their prince down the drain pipes towards the blocked grate.
Frogs are strong swimmers and they reached the blocked grate in no time. King Oisin looked up from his perch on the grate and waved them over. The baby frog croaked loudly for his mother. King Oisin tried to push the garbage out of the way, but he needed help quickly.
The frogs got to work using their strong legs to push the garbage to the sides of the pipe, letting the water rush through. Slowly, the water level lowered until the baby frog felt safe enough to move. He hopped on the back of one of the frogs and they all swam back home.
“Grandfather,” said Pindi, “I have an idea. I know the giant who lives in the big house near your home tree. I can ask her to clear the garbage away from the storm drain so it isn’t pulled down into the drainage pipes. I am sure she will do it. She believes in us and she cares.”
“That’s not safe, Pindi,” King Oisin replied, “what if she mistakes you for a wasp?”
“She won’t! I’ve talked with her before, and she helped us when the spiders invaded. I know it will work.”
Pindi and Mindi flew back to their home tree, the Green Japanese Maple Tree and were greeted by their parents, the King and Queen of the Green Japanese Maple Tree, who were amazed at their daughters’ adventures.
The next day, as soon as Pindi saw one of her giants emerge from the big house, she flew over and, in her loudest voice – the one she used when talking with giants, she shouted, “We need your help again. The storm drains are blocked by garbage that other giants have carelessly dropped in the gutter. Will you please take your big rake and pull out the garbage and dispose of it properly? The drains keep getting blocked and it is hurting the frogs, and all the animals downstream.” Then she told the story of the baby frog.
“Of course,” said the giant. “Some of us are very careless. We will make sure the storm drains stay clear. You are a very brave fairy.”