Dedicated to Liz and Erin, who encouraged me to put the 'plot froggy' to rest, and all the others in the mcpartygroup. (Tiger my thoughts are with you.)
With special Thanks to Tolkien, Jim Henson, and Mark Twain, without whom this wouldn't be a thought.
This is the kind of warped story that comes from being raised in Calaveras County.
The little elfling sat on the ground, his whole attention centered on the object in his hands. It was a truly cute sight to see. His green tunic and brown leggings were mud splattered. There was a smudge of mud on his cheek, and his blond hair was falling out of the top braid it had been woven into.
The Imladris twins were treated to this view of the little elf prince as they left Thranduil's court for a walk through Mirkwood's vast gardens. "What have you there, little one?" Elladan asked him.
"It's my frog," Legolas answered him. "Want to see?"
"Sure," Elrohir responded.
Carefully the elfling opened his hands and displayed his pet. Amazingly, the frog just blinked up at the twins, then nestled back into Legolas's palm.
"Doesn't he try to get away?"
"Never. Father gave him to me a few weeks ago, and he has always been like this. He jumps really far though."
"In three leaps he can be from here to that tree," Legolas said, as he pointed to a tree seven yards away.
"Oh, that's not far, my frog can jump farther," Elladan said with pride. Elrohir looked at his brother incredulously, silently asking 'What frog?'
Elrohir asked, "What's his name?"
"Ada calls him Kermit, I don't know what it means, but I like it."
"Hey Legolas," Elladan said mischeviously, "Show me how your frog can jump to that tree."
"Okay!" Legolas shouted in glee. He brought the hand up that still held the frog then whispered something to it. The frog turned and jumped off his hand and had made it to the tree in three jumps. "See! Kermit's the best frog in Arda."
Elladan was shocked at how far the frog jumped, but he didn't wish to show it. "When next you come to Imladris, you need to bring Kermit with you. Then we'll see if my frog Henry can beat him."
"A frog race?"
"No a Frog Jump. The frog who jumps the farthest in 3 jumps wins."
"Alright!" Legolas looked forward to finally having a sport he could beat the older elves at. Being as young as he was, he always lost the competitions. Someday soon, he was going to beat them at archery, but he had a lot of growing up to do.
With a bounce to his step, Legolas went over to the tree and picked the frog up. "Come on Kermit, we have a lot of practicing to do."
Amazingly, the frog responded, "Ribbiiit."
As the twins walked away Elrohir whispered to Elladan, "You don't have a frog, how can you beat one who talks to him?"
"He's not due to visit for six months. He won't remember the whole thing then."
"Yeah, right. I hope you don't set yourself up for a fall. That elfling forgets nothing."
Six months later, Imladris
"Legolas, are you sure Elladan wanted you to bring Kermit?" Thranduil asked his son as they rode into the valley.
"Yes, ada, he wanted to jump his frog against mine to see which frog is better."
"Elladan has a frog?"
"His name is Henry, and Elladan thinks his frog can jump farther than Kermit."
"I see. Well here come the twins now."
Legolas turned excited eyes to the twins. "Elladan! How's Henry? Do you think he's ready for a competition?"
Elladan's face went blank for a moment, until Elrohir whispered, "Your frog, the one who can jump more than seven yards in three jumps. You promised the elfling a 'Frog Jump' when he came to visit."
"Oh, yeah," Elladan whispered back. Then louder he said, "Henry's resting right now. He'll be ready to jump tomorrow."
"How, when there is no Henry?" Elrohir mumbled, but this time his brother ignored him.
"Come, lunch is almost set," Elrohir said, as he led them to the main hall.
"Elladan, aren't you coming?" Legolas asked.
"I'll be in soon. Tell father to go ahead and start eating, I will be back as soon as possible."
As Elladan went off into the woods frog hunting, the other three elves made their way to the dining hall. "Elrohir, don't you think I better put Kermit in my room? Ada doesn't let me bring him to the table."
"Right. Good thinking. My Lord," he turned to the king, "can you find your way to the dining hall, and I'll help Legolas take his pet to his room?"
"That's a good idea. I'll see you two in a minute."
That night when Legolas went to bed, Kermit seemed lethargic. Believing his pet to be nervous about the upcoming competition, Legolas set him back in his terrarium and went to bed.
Across the keep, Elladan rested easily, knowing his freshly caught Henry would undoubtedly beat Kermit.
The morning of the jump started off damp, but started drying out quickly. Damp weather is always the best time for a frog jump and Legolas just knew his frog would win. Finally he would be better at something than the twins.
Fifteen minutes later his hopes were dashed, for while Elladan's frog only jumped five yards, Kermit refused to jump. The elflings of Imladris started taunting him mercilessly. With tears in his eyes, Legolas gently picked up Kermit and headed for his rooms. Several paces from his door, his tears finally started falling. They were so thick, he couldn't see where he was going, and ran straight into Glorfindel.
"Where are you going in such a hurry, little one?" the balrog slayer asked kindly.
"Back to my room. Kermit refused to jump this morning. I don't think he's feeling well."
"Your upset because your frog isn't jumping?"
"I thought he would beat Henry, and then I would finally be able to say I could win at something against the twins."
Slowly, as if explaining to a tree, Legolas said, "Henry is Elladan's frog."
"But, Elladan doesn't have a frog."
"Yes he does. And his frog beat mine this morning. Kermit wouldn't even jump"
"Here let me see your frog." After examining the frog for a moment, Glorfindel smiled. "Well, Kermit is about to lay eggs. If you give her a few days, I'm sure she'll defeat 'Henry'."
"Eggs? But Kermit's a boy frog!"
"Then this isn't Kermit. Perhaps this is 'Henry'."
"Then Elladan would have switched his frog with mine."
"It seems so, little one."
"Oooh! I'm going to get him!" Legolas shouted as the tears dried on his face.
That evening, Legolas tip-toed into Elladan's room and found Kermit hidden in a wooden box under the bed. Pocketing his pet, he then pulled a small green snake from his pocket and dropped it in the box, as a message. It would take many years, but the elfling would eventually get his revenge.
Soon he would be grown, and outshoot every elf in Imladris, including the twins. A few centuries after that, he would introduce a young edain to the sport of Frog Jumping. But that is another chapter.