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When Frogs Want a King May 8, 2015

Posted by anagasto in philosophy, poetry.
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The frogs were happy and playing in a pond, and though they had all they wanted, they asked Jupiter to send them a king.

Jupiter did not like the idea, and instead of a king he sent them a wooden beam that fell down into the water with a bang. The frogs shut up, were afraid, and ran for cover.

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After a while however they saw that this so-called king was a nice guy and not to be feared. So all the frogs climbed up and danced on the beam and sang out: “This king is worthless! Send us a real king!”

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And Jupiter got angry. He sent them a stork that walked up and down the pond and all along its shore and gobbled the frogs up by the dozen.

And the frogs called out to Jupiter: “Lord, oh Lord, help us! The king that you gave us eats us up! Please oh Lord, help us and withdraw this plague from us and from our children!”

But Jupiter answered: “You got what you asked for. The king that you so insistently requested will teach you. Since you did not appreciate my gift of freedom, now you’ll learn.”

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The story goes back to La Fontaine, Fray Luís de León and Aesop and also to the Bible***¹.

The famous French text is  by La Fontaine and read by René Depasse as an MP3: http://www.litteratureaudio.net/Jean_de_La_Fontaine_-_Les_Grenouilles_qui_demandent_un_Roi.mp3

“Les grenouilles se lassent de l’état démocratique ….”

the frogs want a king

The drawing is by Raphael Wuensch, and the photo by ghD is a distant view of the castle of Oreja, Toledo, Spain, barely visible as a small pillar on the blue hill.

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***¹ There is a verse by Hosea: “So in my anger I gave you a king, and in my wrath I took him away”, and there is an account at 1 Samuel 8 NIV where the people ask Samuel for a king and he tries to dissuade them but can’t:

 “The people refused to listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We want a king over us.  Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles.” —

When Samuel heard what the people said, he repeated it before the Lord.  The Lord answered, “Listen to them and give them a king, but warn them solemnly.”

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