In a creek near a park, there lived a group of frogs. They loved to hop on lily pads and catch flies. They were also excellent swimmers.
That is, except for one.
The smallest frog in the creek couldn't swim, and he was afraid of going into the water. He didn't like to get wet, so he just stayed on his lily pad at all times. His fellow frogs thought he had hydrophobia, but the little frog insisted that he wasn't afraid of the water. He was afraid of swimming.
The little frog spent most of his time hopping from lily pad to lily pad, eating flies and looking at the fish that swam underneath the surface. He always wished that he were a fish so he could be able to swim. But he was too scared to hop off his lily pad and go into the water. Swimming was more of a life and death issue for him. He always felt overwhelmed by the thought of failing or being out of control, and he went into flight/fight mode, and he had a terribly hard time listening and learning over his small, pounding heart and racing thoughts.
He felt like he needed to do something to de-escalate his fear and regain control. He needed to conquer his silly hydrophobia.
One day, as he peered in the water, he talked to the fish who were swimming by.
"Someday, I would love to swim," he said to the fish. "The bigger frogs can hop across lily pads and eat flies just like me, but the only thing I can't do, unlike the rest of them, is swim. In fact, I'm very nervous when it comes to swimming. I sometimes fear that if I jump into the water, I might sink to the bottom. I don't even like getting wet in the first place. But as a frog, I must learn how to conquer my fear of the water and learn to swim."
The curious fish listened carefully. They were quite clever, so they knew how to help the little frog shed his hydrophobia.
"Every now and then," said one of the fish. "We see dragonflies hovering above the lily pads. If you can catch a nice, big dragonfly, you might be able to see how brave you are. If you jump into the air, catch a dragonfly, and fall into the water, you might see that the water isn't so scary after all."
The little frog looked up at the sky, thinking about how tasty a dragonfly could be. If he was brave enough to eat one, then he might be brave enough to swim.
The next day, as the sun shone down from the sky, the frogs were ready for their daily feeding frenzy. A warm breeze moved the leaves in the nearby trees, and light shimmered from the rippling of the blue water. The frogs were ready to catch some flies. There were flies all around, looking for some water to drink from the creek, so they knew something had to be done about it. They hopped from lily pad to lily pad, catching flies and eating them.
The little frog saw a few dragonflies in the colony of insects flying by. Then he looked down at the water, and tried to establish his trust. Although he was very anxious, he knew that there was nothing to be afraid of. His hydrophobia may have been holding him back, but it was time he overcame it.
Dipping a webbed foot into the water, he made sure that it wasn't too warm or cold and that it was safe to plunge into it. As he saw flies buzzing around him, he knew he was ready.
The little frog hopped from lily pad to lily pad, trying to catch as many flies as he could. As he saw a large dragonfly, he leapt to the smallest lily pad and jumped as high as he could to catch it.
Just as he hopped to the next lily pad to grab the dragonfly, he missed it and fell into the water. Before he knew it, he realized that he was able to swim, and he wasn't scared at all.
As he hopped onto a large lily pad to dry off, he realized that he had conquered his hydrophobia, and he didn't mind getting wet one bit. The other frogs were surprised, but they didn't mind that the littlest frog was braver than they thought.