The Adventures of Jane and Grace – Part 1

April 29th, 2020

Use the media player below to play, pause, and resume the story as you wish. Full text of the story is also provided below.

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The Adventures of Jane and Grace – Part 1

This is story is presented as part of the Wonders of Water an immersive and action-oriented education program created by Peterborough GreenUP in partnership with the Peterborough Children’s Water Festival. We are grateful for our funding by the Ontario Trillium Foundation. At Greenup our mission is to inspire and empower environmentally healthy and sustainable action in our community.

You can learn more about our other programs, including the GreenUP Store, Pedal Power, Water Wise and our Ecology Park as well as many more at greenup.on.ca.

Now time for our story…..

Hey guys, I’m Jane and I’m Grace, and this is the adventures of Jane and Grace.

It was a cool Saturday morning in Peterborough, Ontario.

On a quiet Marsdale Drive, Jane and Grace were looking forward to a morning of cartoons when their plans were disrupted by their parents.

Dad:   All right, everyone in the car

Grace shouting: What, no Dad we are going to watch TV, please!

Dad: Sorry girls, but your mother and I have decided we should get some exercise and explore the outdoors.

Mom: We’re going somewhere you haven’t been

Grace: Is it the play place?

Mom   No, it’s not the play place.

Jane: Is it the Y?

Mom: It’s not the Y….. Let’s go, you will like it, it’s a wetland, there will be lots of birds, and flowers and critters to see.

Grace and Jane: A wetland? Boring!

Dad: It’ll be interesting. Jane at school you are learning about habitats – this is a great connection to your learning.

Jane: A learning connection, but Dad it’s the weekend.

Dad: Come one, everyone in the car.

Sounds of an old car starting up.

Grace: Can we go under the Liftlock?

Dad: Sure, girls

Girls: Awwwwoooo

Jane: How about some breakfast first – look Dad it’s the East City Coffee Shop – your favourite place.

Dad: That is tempting, but I packed us all breakfast burritos – Cha Cha Cha

Jane: Huh, of course

Mom: Look the Otonabee River – it goes all the way to Little Lake. You know that stream close to our place, it makes it’s way to Little Lake too.

Grace: Hmm, I didn’t know that

Jane: There’s the library – can we go in there instead?

Mom: Maybe later, but that does remind me I have some books that are due back

Car driving sound

Grace: There’s the hospital, wow are we going all the way out of town?

Dad: No, not all the way, but this special place is on the edge of town. You two should know, we are lucky that we have a wetland right in our city, not all cities have these special places.

Car sound stopping

Dad: And here we are

Sound of car doors closing

Grace: This is it? It is just a bunch of plants and birds, and uhhhh I just stepped in mud -gross!

Mom: Oh you two….. well your father and I are going to go explore, if you want to stay by the car that’s fine

Dad: If you decide to go exploring make sure you can still see us or the car. Understand?

Jane: Fine, want to stay here Grace?

Grace: Ya, we’re going to stay

Bird sound

Jane: Do you hear that whistling?

Grace: Umm not really, I think it’s coming from just over there

Bird sound

Jane: Look at that bird over there, it’s making that strange whistling sound

Grace: Where?

Jane: Towards where Mom and Dad went it’s grey and black and – wow it’s got a really big head – kind of looks like a chickadee

Grace: Uhh, it won’t stop making that making that sound – so annoying

Bird sound

Jane: Here let’s scare it off we can throw some rocks at it

Whoosh whoosh whoosh whoosh

Jane: There it’s gone…..

Grace: It’s not gone, it’s coming right for us!

Jane and Grace: AHHHHH

The girls ducked down as the bird swooped right at them

They turned to see where the bird had gone but instead of seeing the bird there it was a young man standing in front of them. He was dressed in a grey and black suit and shiny shoes. He looked as if he had just been at a business meeting. He stared at them angrily.

Grace: Where did you come from?

Bird: My home, which you are standing in, it was extremely rude of you to throw stones at me

Jane: Sorry, we thought you were just a bird

Bird: What do you mean JUST a BIRD

Bird: I hear that all the time, just a bird, just a frog, just a bug, just an animal! We have lives too you know, and I think the two of you need to see what it feels like to be one of us

With that the man took a step back and from the ends of his fingers hundreds of feathers shot out. They floated up into the air and the girls watched as the man controlled the feathers going higher and higher. Then he brought his hands down and pointed them at the girls. The feathers followed covering the girls in a massive pile

Girls: AHHHH

The feathers were all around them and it got darker and darker as more and more feathers covered them. Everything was black for a second and then the feathers and the man were gone.

Grace: That was weir—AAAAH ….. You’re a frog!

Jane screamed: So are you!!

The bird that they had thrown stones at swooped down beside them.

Grace: Please turn us back into humans

Bird: The two of you are now leopard frogs, and this is your new home unless you can find a way back to your human home

Jane: No, please turn us back

Bird: I can’t do that. What I can tell you is that I’m not an average bird, humans call me a Loggerhead Shrike, but my friends call me Louis – and one of the foods I like to eat is frogs, and the two of you are looking like a yummy morning snack.

Grace: Come on Jane let’s get out of here

The girls hopped away from Louis into the nearby bushes.

Jane: Oh my goodness, this can’t be happening. Grace, we have to stay together.

Mom: Hmmm, I wonder where those girls got too

The girls left the bushes and hopped right onto the trail. Their parents looked like giants from way down low.

Mom: Huh, look at this, two leopard frogs.

Grace: Help us help us Mom, we were turned into frogs

Northern Leopard Frog Call

Dad: Wow, do you hear those two calling such louds trills – I always wonder what frogs are saying. They are probably saying ‘put us down’, you know holding them isn’t good for their skin.

Mom: Oh, there was that pond back there, I might as well put them there

Girls: No, no, no!

Northern Leopard Frog Call

The last thing the girls saw as they dropped below the water was Louis swooping past. Grace couldn’t be sure, but somehow it looked like he was smiling


We hope you enjoyed part one of that story. I’m sure you are excited to hear what happens to Jane and Grace next. While you are waiting why don’t you try and draw one of the characters you heard about in the story, like the Northern Leopard Frog or the Loggerheard Shrike. If you do make anything we would love for you to share it on twitter with us @ptbogreenup

The Loggerhead marsh is a beautiful location in our city, that I hope you get to visit one day. Now we might have to wait a little bit of time before we can go for our own adventure there but you can use this time to find out how you can get to our next adventure. Will you drive there or walk or bike or maybe even take public transit. Planning a trip, even if it might not be for a while, is half the fun!

The audio was recorded in Peterborough, Ontario and additional sounds were sourced from freesoundeffects.com and the Toronto Zoo’s Adopt-a-Pond program.

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