Children who are fond of country walks, and who use their eyes well,
will be sure to notice in early spring little lumps of jelly floating on some pond by the roadside.
Each of these specks is the centre of an egg.
Let us return to the pond a month later.
The spawn has gone, for all the eggs have burst open, and out of each one has come a little animal called a tadpole3.
這些卵已經不見了, 因為它們全部破裂開來, 從中鉆出了一種名叫蝌蚪的小動物。
Tadpoles4 are very funny-looking little things about an inch in length, each with a large round black head and a flat tail.
蝌蚪的樣子非常有趣：體長一英寸左右, 腦袋又大又圓, 尾巴卻是側偏的。
They swim about in the water by the help of their tail, and they are very much like little fishes in many other ways.
它們通過擺動尾巴在水中游走, 除此之外, 它們和魚還有很多類似之處。
They have little pink gills, which stick out on each side of their head.
By its gills the tadpole can breathe the air which is dissolved in the water, just as a fish does.
The little creature soon dies if it is taken out of the water, for it cannot breathe the air as we do.
它們離開了水, 很快就會死去, 因為它們無法和人類一樣呼吸空氣。
It is very curious to watch the changes that take place in the tadpole during the three months or so that it lives in the water.
蝌蚪在水中生活三個月的時間, 這期間, 它們的身體能夠發生很多有趣的變化。
The gills become covered over, and lungs grow inside the body to do their work.
鰓逐漸被覆蓋起來, 身體內部長出了肺, 用于進行呼吸。
The tail becomes shorter, and near it two legs break through the skin.
Then other two legs come out nearer to the head.
The tadpole is now able to walk, and to breathe the air just as we do, so it crawls out of the pond and lives in the damp grass.
現在, 蝌蚪能夠爬行了, 而且可以像人類一樣進行呼吸。因此, 它們會離開池塘, 進入到潮濕的草地中生活。
Its tail becomes still shorter, and soon disappears.
Now it is no more a tadpole; it has become a young frog.
這時, 它不再是蝌蚪, 而是發育成為幼年青蛙。
Every one must have seen frogs jumping about in the wet grass by the roadside on a summer evening.
They are quite harmless, and you may take one in your hand without any fear.
它們不會對我們造成任何威脅, 因此你不必害怕, 可以拿起來放在手中仔細觀察。
But if you do pick one up to look at it, be very careful not to hurt it.
然而, 如果你真的這樣做, 請不要弄傷它。
The frog is about two or three inches in length, and is mottled with brown and yellow on the back; but it is lighter7 in colour underneath8.
The skin has no fur or hair, but it is covered with a slimy fluid.
The two hind9 legs are long and Strong. Each of the hind feet has five toes, which are joined by a web.
青蛙的兩條后腿又長又壯, 每只后腳都有五根腳趾, 通過蹼連接在一起。
The two front legs are much shorter and weaker.
The front feet have only four toes each, and they are not webbed.
The limbs of the frog remind us of those of the rabbit;
for with both these animals it is the hind legs which do most of the work in helping10 them to move about.
Its two eyes are large, and stand far out from its head.
The frog has a large mouth; but as it does not chew its food, it has only a few tiny teeth in its upper jaw15.
青蛙的嘴巴很大；但是, 它很少會咀嚼食物, 因此只有在上腭處長有幾顆小牙齒。
The tongue of the frog is most useful to the creature in catching16 the flies and other small insects on which it feeds.
It is joined to the lower jaw in front, and not at the back as our tongues are.
因此, 青蛙的舌頭蜷縮在嘴巴里, 朝向后方。
At its tip there is a kind of sticky pad.
When the frog sees a fly which it wants to catch, it thrusts out its tongue till the sticky pad touches the insect, which is then drawn18 into the frog's mouth.
The red tongue is thrust out and pulled back so quickly that you can hardly see it move.
Have you ever noticed that the frog is always swallowing something?
What he swallows is air; and this is the only way in which the air gets to his lungs.
它吞食的就是空氣, 正是通過這樣一種方法, 青蛙的肺部才能吸收到空氣。
Frogs breathe very slowly, and do not take into their bodies so much air in proportion to their size as we do.
青蛙的呼吸非?；郝? 由于體型相差甚多, 它所需要的空氣遠沒有人類那么多。
For this reason the frog's blood is cold, while our blood is warm.
因此, 青蛙屬于冷血動物, 而人類則是恒溫動物。
Frogs do not eat plants, so they do no harm in a garden.
But they do a great deal of good in such a place; for they feed on insects and slugs, and other small animals which do eat plants.
實際上, 它們還是花園的衛士, 因為那些以植物為食的昆蟲與鼻涕蟲正是它們的獵物。
Frogs are most often seen in damp and wet weather, for then they come out of their hiding-places to enjoy the moisture.
青蛙最喜歡潮濕的天氣, 那時, 它們都會從藏身之處跑出來。
They like water because it helps to keep their skin moist.
If their skin gets dry, they soon die.
Never hurt the poor frogs, for they do no harm but much good.
When you hear them calling "Croak19, croak, " to each other in the ponds, do not throw stones at them.
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