‘Speak Up!’ Thursday Stories with Baby Frederico

*Every Thursday we introduce you to another quick bedtime story about our family’s favorite resident reptile – Baby Frederico. His backstory can be found here.  Enjoy!

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Baby Frederico loves his Momma Mia and Papá Frita, his buddy Grenelda the Grasshopper, blue crayons, popcorn, and…birthday parties; but he did not like to speak in front of an audience – here is his story:

Baby Frederico was mesmerized by the story that was unfolding before him.  It was third hour Science and the teacher had spent the week describe an amazing list of the world’s most unusual animals.  Today’s example was the Box Jellyfish, which actively seeks out and hunts prey with its 24 eyes and deadly venom.

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But the reason he was so interested in finding out about such a crazy animal was not that he particularly loved science or unusual animals.  No, he was interested because it reminded him of the speech he was going to give this week in front of what was expected to be a very big crowd of grown-ups.  The Box Jellyfish seemed like the perfect symbol of that crowd, who he expected to be “actively seeking him out and hunting him down with its 24 eyes and deadly venom” while he spoke.

Why had he said yes to giving a speech?  Why oh why oh why?  It was a speech about not being a bully, something he felt very strongly about and enjoyed speaking his mind on at recess with his friends and at home with his family…but here at school with grown-ups?!  It all made him terribly nervous and it hurt his stomach and it refused to let him sleep at night or play during the day or even read his favorite superhero comic books. He wanted to do it; and he didn’t want to do it.  It would be his chance to talk about something he knew would make a difference, but it was also the scariest thing he had ever done in his short life so far here on earth!

The day at school dragged by as Baby Frederico became more and more nervous about the afternoon’s event.

Finally, it was time to make the long walk to the school’s auditorium, where all those box jellyfish-like people were surely waiting for him.  However, as he opened the door and peered inside the large room, he noticed that nearly all of the people there were familiar to him.  They didn’t seem all that scary and none of them came close to resembling a venomous jellyfish.

After his speech, Baby Frederico listened as the room erupted in applause and smiles.  He was especially thankful that he had said yes to giving the speech, but he was truly surprised when he and his family opened the door to their car to go home.  There in the seat was a special snack that his mother had carefully and colorfully wrapped for him – his favorite – a grape JELLY sandwich!  He could only laugh as he thought of how grateful he was that as he ate, not one tentacle of venom was anywhere to be found.