The Timid Tadpole Fable (Short Story)


A story about having the confidence to try something new.

Tommy Tadpole was afraid to use his webbed feet until he was inspired by his sister’s confidence…

Tommy Tadpole had been swimming in the ditch for two days and loved it! Then, he noticed how little foot pads had popped out on his sides. On each one, three big toes were held together by weird, rubbery webs.

Tommy watched his sister, Tasha, swim to the ditch’s edge. She yelled gleefully, “Hey, Tommy! Watch me! I’m gonna hop on my new webbed feet. This is gonna be so cool!”

Then, Tasha gingerly put a webbed foot onto the squishy green ground. She pushed out of the water and plopped onto the grass on her 4 little webbed feet.

“Wow,” Tommy said. “I’ll never get out of this ditch. I love the water. Plus, I’m afraid. What if my new feet don’t hop? I’ll just be stranded in the mud!”

“Weeeeeee,” screamed Tasha. ”I knew I could do it! You can hop, too, Tommy. Go on! Just try your frog legs. Say out loud you can do it!”

Even though Tommy thought it was silly, to make his sister happy, he said, “The other tadpoles got out of the water to hop, and so can I.”

“Say it again!” yelled Tasha with exuberance.

“I’m gonna hop on my webbed feet!” exclaimed Tommy, with a little more conviction.

Then Tommy said out loud to himself, “I can do it, I can do it. I can hop right now!”

And with that, Tommy leaped out of the water, thudding onto the wet green lawn with his webbed frog feet!

Then he hopped and hopped and hopped some more – into the water, out of the water, and all around – just like the big frogs.

Moral: When you’re trying something new, be optimistic, have confidence, and you’ll enjoy success!
The Timid Tadpole Reflection

Tommy Tadpole was afraid to use his frog legs. After all, he had swum his entire life and didn’t find it necessary to use his newly sprouting frog legs to get around.

Tommy’s sister, Tasha, felt very differently from Tommy. Tasha was optimistic. She was excited about the prospect of hopping on her new feet and couldn’t wait to try them out.

Tasha’s confidence compelled her to use her legs and hop. She showed no fear as she switched from swimming and using her tail to hopping and using her newly developed frog legs.

Maybe in the past, you’ve reacted like Tommy. You might have lacked confidence that you would be successful at something you hadn’t tried before.

The fear of failure can stop you from even trying something that could have an enormously positive impact on your life. Also, it can keep you from making enough effort to bring success in a new endeavor.

On the other hand, perhaps you were more like Tasha and seemed to feel deep inside that you could do it. You had confidence that you would be successful, even though you hadn’t done the task before.

If you went for it and made up your mind you were going to succeed at the task, you probably did just that.

Having confidence and feeling optimistic ensured you would achieve the success you sought.

Self-Reflection Questions:

When you embark on a new experience, do you feel confident that you can do it?
If you tend to lack confidence, what can compel you forward to achieve your goal?
How does feeling optimistic and confident affect your results?


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