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Josiah K.

and the Ghost of
Pinyon Hollow Pon

Lisa Alvir
Josiah K. Jumper
And the Ghost of
Pinyon Hollow Pond
Lisa Alvir

Dedicated to all my family & friends

Copyright © 2005 by Lisa Alvir
Grand Junction, CO USA

“If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature:
Old things are passed away; behold
All Things have become new.”
2 Corinthians 5:17

The Ghost of Pinyon Hollow Pond

J osiah K. Jumper was preparing for a visitor. Cathy the Caterpillar was
coming to play. Cathy and Josiah were very good friends. They liked to
play hide-n-seek together. Josiah, being a small, green, spotted bullfrog, hid
very well when they played among the tall green reeds. It was very hard to find
him there. Sometimes they would play with Harry and their other friends.
However, today they were going to play where the wild flowers spilled over
the muddy bank in a rainbow of beautiful colors, sunny yellows, sky blues and
pretty oranges. October had come to Pinyon Hollow Pond in a riot of color. A
few late summer flowers still held their heads high with darkening blooms, and
the trees were showing off their new fall wardrobes, with a touch of gold here
and a painting of muted reds over there.

Cathy’s furry little body was brown divided by a bright yellow stripe. She was soft
and fluffy. When she smiled her chubby cheeks puffed up like chipmunk cheeks and
made Josiah giggle. The two friends had played in the wildflowers yesterday and
Cathy had won every game! The coming of fall presented the perfect camouflage for
Cathy but today, Josiah was determined to find her hiding place every time. They
played game after game yesterday, until the last of the long shadows had blended into
the cool evening light.
“Just one more game,” the little frog had pleaded. “I know I can find you this time!”
“Oh, but I am so tired, Little Jo,” Cathy had exclaimed. “We can play tomorrow. I
will come over early and we will have all day.”
Cathy smiled at the baby bullfrog. “The swaying of this cattail is making me very
sleepy,” she yawned, clinging to the yellowing cattail stalk as it swung back and forth
in the cool evening breeze.
Josiah giggled, “You are right. We will start early. I am learning your secrets. You
best beware!”

Cathy laughed. She had a light, tinkling laugh that made Josiah giggle, a special
giggle that began with just a little tickle in his tummy, which would tickle and tickle
until he giggled and giggled. The fluffy caterpillar would then laugh at his giggle, and
they would giggle and laugh until they raised such a racket that Mr. Grumpy Bumpy
Toad would start to complain.
“A little peace and quiet,” he would croak, “ That’s all I ask, just a little peace and
The next morning dawned cold and clear. The time had arrived for the games to
begin! In fact, it was somewhat past time. Rising high in the sky, the bright autumn
sun was trying to warm the cool waters of Pinyon Hollow Pond but not with much
success. The tall green reeds, dusted with frost, gave off long shadows. The buzzing of
busy insects, usually frantic by this time of day was strangely absent. “Cathy was very
tired, she must have slept in,” Josiah thought. He decided to hunt a few gnats while he
waited but didn’t find any so he practiced jumping over the slippery wet stones.
Lunchtime came and went, and still Cathy did not come. Before too long the little frog
saw the shadows lengthening among the cattails, the sun sinking below their fluffy
heads that bobbed in the wind. He decided he must go find Cathy. “I will rest a little
first,” he said to himself. He was feeling very sleepy. The little frog found a
comfortable spot on the bottom of the pond where leaves had settled into the mud. “It

is very cozy here,” Josiah whispered. “I will just take a short nap, a very short nap, then
I will look through the wildflowers for Cathy, and then the tall green reeds, and then...,”
and then he fell fast asleep.
The yellow morning sun reached down through the waters of Pinyon Hollow Pond
and began to warm the muddy leaves where the baby bullfrog was snoring loudly. Its
bright golden rays flitted among the cattails and reeds, bouncing off the glassy surface
of water. Josiah blinked against the bright flickering light. He felt lazy and hungry,
very hungry!
“Oh, no!” His short nap had lasted all … night? Josiah surfaced and hopped up into
the gooey mud. He looked around in wonder. The bright colors of fall were gone. All
around him, tender young plants were springing up along the muddy bank. What was
this? He remembered cold mornings and frosty nights, feeling so very tired, and
wondering where all his friends had gone. He also thought he remembered white fluffy
flakes falling from the sky, or was that just a dream? Had spring come to the pond
already? What an exciting thought! Having slept his first winter through, Josiah now
found himself eager to explore the new spring growth bursting out around the pond,
taller green reeds, new leaves turning a light spring green and early flowers just starting
to bud with a hint of the bright colors to come. He tried to jump up out of the mud but
stuck fast, his green spotted legs squishing in the muck.
“Ooof! Ooof,” he croaked as he pulled himself free one webbed toe at a time. The
worried little frog wondered if Cathy had come while he was sleeping. He looked
around; blinking again in the sunlight, but his fluffy friend was not there.
He jumped across the slippery stones and up onto the slimy logs, but Cathy was not
there. She must be waiting for him in the wildflowers. “Of course, that is where she
would be,” he thought and jumped into the cool water, kicking as fast as his little
spotted legs could kick. Coming to the muddy bank where the wildflowers spilled over
the edge, Josiah splashed through the shallow water and up under the cascade of vines
and twigs. The bright colors of fall were gone however, replaced by little buds of green
with tiny white and yellow centers.
“Cathy!” he called. “Cathy, are you here?”, but Cathy was not there. Where could
the caterpillar be? A rustling in the reeds suddenly caught the frog’s attention.
“Rustle, rustle, crackle.”
“Who’s there?” Josiah whispered.
“Rustle, rustle, crackle,” went the reeds.
“Ca...Ca...Cathy, is that you?” Nervously Josiah peeked out from under the
branches. No one answered. “Rustle, rustle, crackle,” went the reeds. It must be Cathy,
playing a trick on him, he thought…or…a …a snake! The rustling grew louder, and
closer, and louder and closer.
‘Rustle, rustle, crackle...Oooof, plop!” Out plopped Harry E. Plopper, just missing
Josiah’s nose by a gnat bite. The little frog screamed, "Noooo, don’t eat me!” as he
covered his eyes with his little webbed toes.
Harry jumped backwards and tumbled into the water, his legs flying up over his
spotted green head. Josiah peeked out between his toes. The sight of Harry
somersaulting into the pond suddenly filled him with relief. He was not to be eaten
after all. He started to giggle, and then he started to laugh. Harry, however, was not
amused. He kicked up out of the water, sputtering and muttering,
“Eat you, eat you! Why in the world would I try to eat you?” he cried. Harry
frowned at the little frog who continued to giggle, his small spotted throat wiggling
with the laughter. “You seem to be enjoying this far too much! I think I sprained my
toe.” Harry flicked his back legs, sending little sprays of water into the air.
“I’m sorry, Harry. I...I cannot help it. I thought I was going to be eaten, and then,
and then it was only you.” The little frog covered his mouth only to burst out into
another fit of laughter.
“Well,” sighed Harry, “Since you thought you were going to die, and I’ve only
sprained my toe, I guess that’s alright then. Why are you hiding in the wildflowers?
Are you playing with Cathy?”
The giggling frog took a deep breath. “No, actually I’m looking for Cathy.” 14
“Well if you’re looking for Cathy, you’re playing with Cathy, aren’t you. That’s
what you do in Hide-n-seek.”
“No, Harry, I’m only looking for her.”
“Of course you’re looking for her. You’ll never find her here you know. She is too
good. You two should find some other game to play.”
“I’m not playing, Harry.” the little frog groaned. “I’m really looking for Cathy.”
Harry shook his head, “Little Jo, you are taking this far too seriously. It’s only a

“No!” Josiah cried
“Calm down, Little Jo,” Harry patted his friend on the head. “I’ll help you look. She
won’t win this time.” Harry looked under the spray of pale yellow buds. “Have you
checked in here?”
Josiah stared at the older frog. Harry stared back. “What? What?”
“Oh forget it,” Josiah turned away.
Concerned now, Harry hopped up to the small frog and frowned. “What’s wrong,
Little Jo? You better tell me so I can help.”
“Cathy was supposed to come and play but then I fell asleep, and she never came.
Now I can’t find her anywhere!”
“She must have forgotten.” Harry replied. “I’ll help you find her.”
“OK” Josiah pointed to a stand of old yellow cattails. “Let’s try over there. I think
we’ve played in there before. There are so many though.”
“That’s alright. I’ve got a plan.” Harry nodded his head. “I’ll go right, you go left
and we’ll meet in the middle.”
The two bullfrogs kicked off into the cool water determined to find their friend.
They split off at the edge of the plants and began their search.
Josiah swam slowly in between the green and yellow leaves occasionally stopping to
glance upward along their tall stalks. The little frog liked the cattails, especially in the
fall when their tail like heads began to burst, the white fluff spilling out to drift off on
the wind. Sometimes it would sink down between the stalks and drift along the surface
of the water, to land light as a feather on the baby frog’s back or flick past his nose
making it tickle. Josiah liked to watch the swirling fluff and wondered what it would
be like to fly up among the tops of the cattails and drift off on the breeze like the
butterflies. “I would like to be a piece of fluff for just one day.” He would think to
himself. “But then, I could not swim in the cool water or sleep in the soft brown mud.”
Today the new cattails were growing up among the older brown and yellow stalks, their
fresh new leaves reaching toward the warm spring sun.
“” Josiah turned his head and listened. The sound of his name drifted
on the breeze.

“Over here. I’m over here!” he called. “Is that you Cathy?” He listened again and
heard, "Plop, plop, plop," out among the cattails.
“Josiah!” Harry plopped out into the open, stopping to catch his breath.
“Oh, it’s only you.” the little frog said in disappointment.
“Come quick, we have to save her!” Harry suddenly cried. “Something terrible has
“What are you talking about, Harry?” Josiah looked up in concern.
“Come on, there’s no time to lose!” Harry grabbed the smaller frog’s leg and pulled.
“This way, hurry, hurry!”
Harry plopped off and Josiah followed. Harry hopped through the cattails, over a
slimy log and back into the tall green reeds. He stopped in a thick stand of cattails near
the muddy bank and huffed to catch his breath.
“Look...there!” Harry pointed up a tall strong stalk. Near the top, a small white tube
clung to the stalk.

“What is that white stuff...cattail fluff?” asked Josiah
“I remember hearing the two of you playing near here sometimes,” answered Harry.
I’m sure I saw Cathy on this very stalk before.”
Josiah looked around. “It does seem familiar. I think we have played here before.
Josiah looked up at the white thing. “It looks thick web.” He said nervously.
Harry put his webbed toes on Josiah’s little shoulder. “I think.” Harry paused and
looked at the younger frog. “I’m sorry Little Jo, but I think...I think its spider web.”
Oh, no...No it couldn’t be. The baby bullfrog stared up at the white webbed thing
and tears welled up in his eyes.
Harry leaned up against his little friend and croaked softly. “We could be wrong,
Jo.” He whispered. Harry looked down at his friend and then up at the white webbed
“That is a very big web, Josiah. It must have been a very big spider.”
Josiah shook his head. “Yes, I suppose it was.”
“Then it must have been quite a battle.”
“What?” Josiah sniffed and glanced up at Harry. “What did you say?”
Harry straightened his shoulders.” It must have been quite a battle. I’m sure Cathy
must have been very brave.”
“Oh, I’m sure of it.” Harry said proudly. “Only a very big, very mean spider would
want to eat a nice fluffy caterpillar like Cathy. She fought very courageously I think.
That big bad spider is probably wounded and hiding somewhere even now.”
Josiah lifted his head and squared his small shoulders. “I think so too, Harry. Cathy
was very brave.”
“We will always remember how very brave Cathy the Caterpillar was.” Harry
replied. The two friends placed their webbed toes over their hearts and held their
heads high.
“Yes, we will always remember!”


T he storms came. Dark clouds filled the skies above Pinyon Hollow. Thirsty
plants and trees drank in the refreshing rain and grew tall and green. Harry
and Josiah loved to play in the rain. They would hop out onto the logjam and follow-
the-leader back and forth on the slippery logs. Then came a day when the cool spring
breeze turned warm and moved gently through the reeds, the sunlight sending its
golden rays filtering down into the cattails to warm the soft brown mud. Josiah
stretched his little legs and gazed up at the blue sky where a few lingering white clouds
moved towards the horizon, chased away by the coming summer winds.
The little bullfrog had something important to do and today was the perfect day to
do it. He bounced across the logjam and then thrust himself up into the air with a leap
that sent him sailing out over the open water, ending in a great splash. He swam
through the water until he saw a flicker of color where the wildflowers were beginning
to bloom. Paddling slowly along the bank the frog looked closely at the small yellow
blooms. Finding one that was just right he plucked it from its stem and placing it
carefully in his mouth dove back into the water. Coming to a thick stand of cattails, he
moved quickly into the leaves until he saw a tall yellow one with a ball of white
webbing near the top. Josiah paused a moment then placed the bright yellow flower in

the soft mud at the base of the stalk. “This is for you Cathy,” he whispered. “We have
not forgotten the Great Battle and how very brave you were.” He glanced up the stalk
and watched the white chrysalis swaying gently in the breeze. It swayed slowly back
and forth, swaying, swaying, slowly swaying, wiggling, swaying, swaying, wiggling...
“Ah! What is that?” Josiah jumped back. “Did it move?” He looked up again at
the small ball of white. Nothing happened. The little frog stared. Was there something
or someone inside? “I’m just imagining things!” The frog told himself. He looked
again and it seemed to tremble just a little bit. “It is just the wind,” he said bravely, but
was that the outline of something...inside? “A ghost? Is it a ghost?” He stepped
slowly back from the bottom of the stalk. Suddenly the white webbing shuddered and
the baby bullfrog ran, or rather jumped with all his might, back through the cattails to
where a wet log lay out from the muddy bank. He jumped over the log and ducked
down behind it, gulping down big breaths of air. He had never seen a ghost before.
Josiah peeked over the top of the log, glancing up along the tops of the cattails. He

could just see the big yellow one with the little white ball towering over the tops of the
new green leaves. The little frightened frog squinted against the light. The stalk
swayed gently in the breeze then shuddered. There was something inside and it was
Josiah jumped into the water and swam away as fast as his little legs would take
him, out across the clear blue water, over the slippery logjam and into the darkest,
safest spot in the tall green reeds. Josiah slipped down between the plants, his little
green body blending into the shadows. He had hidden here many times while playing
hide-n-seek. “No ghost will find me here,” He whispered. The little bull frog held his
webbed toes together tightly to stop their trembling. His heart beat so loudly in his

small chest that he could hear it going bump, bump in his ears! He stared out through
the reeds. The sunlight sparkled on the blue water and little ripples bounced back and
forth between the plants. Overhead Josiah heard a buzzing sound and he crouched
lower in the darkness, but it was only a bee out to find the first spring blooms for his
honey. Gradually the sun rose higher in the sky. The frightened little frog watched and
waited, but no ghosts came and soon the afternoon grew warm and bright.
“I am not being brave,” Josiah thought. Cathy would have been very brave. She
who had fought the big spider would not have been afraid of a caterpillar’s ghost.
Josiah peeked out between the reeds. It was very quiet. “I must be brave too. Cathy
was my friend. She would never hurt me, even if she was a ghost.” The little frog
straightened his shoulders and swam slowly to the edge of the clear blue water. “I will
go see this ghost of Cathy the Caterpillar,” he decided and courageously hopped out of

his hiding place-then stopped. He would go, but maybe just a bit more slowly. Josiah
slid quietly through the water and hopped over the logjam. He slipped in among the
cattails and coming to the fallen log paused to peer just over the top of its mossy bark.
He looked over at the big yellow stalk and slowly let his gaze travel up to the top where
he saw...
...a huge butterfly at the top of the cattail! It was a beautiful butterfly, a beautiful, big,
yellow butterfly, a very beautiful, very big and very bad butterfly for Josiah could see
Cathy’s little white webbing was broken and there was nothing inside at all! The big
bad butterfly must have eaten the ghost of Cathy the Caterpillar!
The baby bullfrog was angry now. A big bad spider had captured Cathy in his web

and a big bad butterfly had eaten her ghost. The angry little frog hopped up
on top of the log and cried
“Hey! Hey, you up there!”
Startled the big bad butterfly fluttered up into the air and spread out her great golden
wings. Hovering above the cattails, she turned and looked down at the little green frog.
“Hello,” she answered.
Josiah looked up a little nervously. This was a very, very big butterfly.
“Hello,” he stuttered, then taking a deep breath he asked, “Have you...have you
eaten the ghost of my friend?”
“Why, I haven’t eaten any ghosts at all,” she replied. The big bad beautiful
butterfly smiled a big smile that puffed out her chubby cheeks and suddenly made her

look suspiciously like Cathy the Caterpillar. Josiah became quite indignant.
“Yes you have. I saw her here just this morning and now she is gone and not only
have you eaten her ghost, you have stolen her chubby cheeks!
The butterfly looked stunned and cried. “I have not stolen anything, Josiah. Don’t
you recognize me? I am Cathy and these have always been my cheeks!”
Josiah looked up suspiciously. He saw the familiar chubby cheeks but he also saw
a long thin body, big fluttering wings and brilliant colors.
“You are an imposter!” The angry frog stomped his foot.” Who are you and what
have you done with Cathy’s ghost?”
The big bad beautiful butterfly stared at the little green bullfrog. The little frog
stared back. It grew very quiet. Suddenly Josiah felt very brave. He jumped off the log
into the soft brown mud and puffed out his spotted bullfrog throat.

“You best beware!” he said bravely. “I have a very long sticky tongue to eat bugs
like you with!”
This courageous outburst surprised the big bad beautiful butterfly so much that she
smiled and then she began to giggle and then to laugh, a light, tinkling laugh that made
Josiah feel like giggling, that special giggle which began with just a little tickle in his
tummy. It tickled and tickled until he giggled and giggled. The butterfly with Cathy’s
chubby cheeks laughed at his giggle, he giggled at her laugh, and they giggled and
laughed until they were exhausted with giggling and laughing. Josiah gazed up at the
big butterfly with Cathy’s chubby cheeks. He saw her big brown eyes and heard her
tinkling tickling laugh and immediately he knew.
“Cathy! It is you!” He began to hop up and down singing.” It is you! It is you!”
Cathy swooped down from the top of the cattails and landed beside him on the soft
brown mud.
The baby frog looked at her in awe and whispered? “Are you an angel?”

“An angel?’ Cathy giggled. “Of course not silly, I’m a moth.”
“But you were all fat and fuzzy. Where are your soft fluffy stripes? And what about
the Great Battle you fought with the big bad spider that captured you in his web?”
Cathy blinked, “What battle...what spider? I don’t understand.”
Josiah pointed up to the broken white ball at the top of the cattail stalk. “There!” he
Cathy stared and then started to giggle again. “That’s not a web, Little Jo”, that is my
“Co-Co who?”
“My my cocoon. I made it to rest in while my wings grew.”
“ didn’t die in a great battle with a big bad spider?” the little frog asked in
“Oh no! I was only napping. I am so sorry if you were sad, Josiah!” Cathy wrapped
her large golden wings around his spotted green shoulders.
“There was no battle with a big bad spider?” He sighed, somewhat disappointed.
“No...No battle...” Cathy answered.” But...” Josiah looked up expectantly at his
“But we could pretend!” she cried.
Josiah laughed “Yes! Yes, let’s pretend.” The little frog hopped up on a mossy log.
“You best beware. I am a very brave caterpillar.”
“And I am a very big bad spider,” Cathy fluttered her big wings menacingly.
Therefore, the battle began, and a very noisy battle it was, with growling, screaming,
laughing and then that special giggle that began with just a little tickle in Josiah’s tummy.
It tickled and tickled until he giggled and giggled. The two happy friends giggled and
laughed, laughed, and giggled until they raised such a racket that Mr. Grumpy Bumpy
Toad began to complain...
“A little peace and quiet,” he croaked, “That’s all I ask, just a little peace and quiet!”