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STORIES TO TELL TO CHILDREN (19)

2006-08-28 20:46

    THE FROG KING

    Did you ever hear the old story about the foolish Frogs? The Frogs in a certain swamp decided that they needed a king; they had always got along perfectly well without one, but they suddenly made up their minds that a king they must have. They sent a messenger to Jove and begged him to send a king to rule over them.

    Jove saw how stupid they were, and sent a king who could not harm them: he tossed a big log into the middle of the pond.

    At the splash the Frogs were terribly frightened, and dove into their holes to hide from King Log. But after a while, when they saw that the king never moved, they got over their fright and went and sat on him. And as soon as they found he really could not hurt them they began to despise him; and finally they sent another messenger to Jove to ask for a new king.

    Jove sent an eel.

    The Frogs were much pleased and a good deal frightened when King Eel came wriggling and swimming among them. But as the days went on, and the eel was perfectly harmless, they stopped being afraid; and as soon as they stopped fearing King Eel they stopped respecting him.

    Soon they sent a third messenger to Jove, and begged that they might have a better king,——a king who was worth while.

    It was too much; Jove was angry at their stupidity at last. "I will give you a king such as you deserve!" he said; and he sent them a Stork.

    As soon as the Frogs came to the surface to greet the new king, King Stork caught them in his long bill and gobbled them up. One after another they came bobbing up, and one after another the stork ate them. He was indeed a king worthy of them!

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