One day in the forest there was a little girl wandering down a wide path who came upon an owl perched in a tree and hooting. Finding the sound terribly exciting, the girl began to imitate the hoot as she walked.
“Hoot, hoot,” said she to Owl.
“Why are you making such a noise, little girl?” asked Owl.
“I am not a little girl,” she replied. “I am an Owl, like you.”
“Well, if you are an owl, fly up here and perch with me on this branch.”
The girl tried jumping and flapping her arms but try as she might she could not reach even the lowest branches of the tree, let alone the high branch of Owl’s perch.
“I am sorry Owl, I would like to join you but it seems I cannot fly.” said the girl.
In a grave voice, Owl replied. “In that case you cannot be an owl, for all owls can fly.”
Disappointed the girl ceased her hooting and continued down the forest path until a rabbit hopped out of the bushes and onto the path in front of her. How delightful, thought the girl, and she got down on all fours and began to hop after Rabbit.
Noticing this strange hopping creature following her, Rabbit stopped to ask, “Why are you hopping little girl?”
“I am not a little girl, I am a rabbit. See, I hop just like you.” answered the girl.
“That you do,” said Rabbit. “But you are a strange looking rabbit, where is your fur?”
The girl reached out to feel Rabbit’s soft white fur, then she felt her own body and it’s smooth skin.
“Alas, Rabbit, it seems I have no fur!” cried the girl.
“Ah,” said Rabbit. “Then you are not a rabbit, for all rabbits have fur.”
Disappointed yet again, the girl ceased her hopping and continued down the path until she came upon a monkey climbing and swinging through the trees and across the path. That looked like so much fun the girl decided to join and begin climbing the nearest trees.
Watching this ungraceful girl climbing his trees, Monkey questioned her, “Why are you climbing these trees, little girl?”
“I am not a little girl, I am a monkey and I climb trees like you.” replied the girl.
“You climb but you do not swing from branch to branch, and where is your tail?” said Monkey.
The girl tried to swing but her arms fell short and when she searched behind her for her tail she could find none.
“I cannot swing and I have no tail, dear Monkey, I suppose this means I am not really a monkey?” sighed the girl.
“I am afraid not my friend, for Monkeys have tails and swing through the trees.”
Dejected the girl climbed down from the tree and continued down the path until she came to a small pond and saw a frog ribbiting while sitting on a lilypad. The noise made the girl laugh and she tried to copy it.
“Ribbit, ribbit, “ croaked the girl, and then laughed.
“Why do you copy my call little girl and then laugh at me?” asked Frog.
“I am not laughing at you Frog, I ribbit like you for I am not a little girl, I am a frog and the sound tickles my throat so I laugh.” said the girl.
“A frog you say, you are very large for a frog, however, if you are what you say, join me on my pond, there is a lilypad for you over there.” offered Frog.
The girl tried to sit on the lilypad but she found she was too big and only ended up getting wet as she fell to the bottom of the small pond.
“Oh no!” cried the girl. “I am too big for the lilypad and now am all wet. I am not a true frog am I?”
“It would seem you are not a frog, as us frogs are small and sit on lilypads.” said Frog.
As the girl got out of the pond and dried herself upon a rock, Monkey swung into the trees nearby, Rabbit hopped to the edge of the pond, and Owl alighted upon a nearby branch. Along with Frog in his pond they all pondered the sad little girl on her rock.
“Why are you sad?” asked Owl.
“I cannot fly like Owl for I have no wings, my skin is smooth not soft like Rabbit’s fur, I cannot swing like Monkey without a tail, and I got all wet trying to sit on a lilypad like Frog.” lamented the girl.
“But you are not an Owl, a Rabbit, a Monkey or a Frog. You appear to be a little girl, why do you try to be something you are not?” asked Rabbit.
“What fun is it to be a little girl? Hooting like Owl, hopping like Rabbit, climbing like Monkey and ribbiting like Frog is so much fun. What can a little girl do compared to all that?” asked the girl.
“Ah, but, little girl while I can swing I cannot hoot or ribbit,” said Monkey, “and Frog here can sit on the lilypad but would be a hopeless climber. We all can only do what we are good at.”
“Yes,” agreed Frog. “And you, as a little girl, were able to do much of what we each can do such as hoot, climb, hop and ribbit. You also have long legs for running and swimming. You have pieces of us but are capable of so much more. It seems a fine thing to be a little girl.”
At this the girl brightened and laughed, “Thank you Owl, thank you Rabbit, thank you Monkey and thank you Frog. I was seeing only what I could not do and not the things that I could. Maybe being a little girl is not so dull after all.”
And Owl hooted, Rabbit hopped around, Monkey swung from his tail, and Frog ribbited in his pond while the little girl laughed and played with the animals having grand fun until it was time to go home.