Swimming pools are fun for people- not for Beetles, at least at first. After he is shot out of his flower pot and into the water by a garden hose, Beetle faces the terror of being adrift in the open water, without knowing how to swim, and without being able to take proper safety precautions. Normally a shy loner, to save himself Beetle must open his mouth and do what is so hard for him- call for help.
Various backyard inhabitants answer his call. Their efforts, together with his own resolve, get Beetle out of danger. A nearby floating leaf serves as his initial refuge. Once aboard, Beetle begins a character transformation: he goes from shy to confident, from loner to leader, from rescued to rescuer.
Beetle’s courage is rewarded with a crew, all of which have their own skills. The spider that he rescues spins his web to make a sail. The centipede he rescues offers her many legs to row. Both acts of generosity surprise Beetle. Even though he never met a centipede or a spider, both bugs are negatively stereotyped. Overcoming these generalizations is a struggle that calls for courage. It is a call that Beetle answers, and quickly begins to pay off. For the basic life raft that he navigated alone morphs into a mighty ship that commands the very waters Beetle formerly feared. Work becomes play. The pool is now a playground. Scary strangers are now friends from other flower pots.
That calls for a celebration back at Beetle’s place…and everyone is invited.