Aesop's Fables (Joseph Jacobs)
Jacobs 13. The Frogs Desiring a King (Perry
The Frogs were living as happy as could be in a marshy swamp that just
suited them; they went splashing about caring for nobody and nobody
troubling with them. But some of them thought that this was not right,
that they should have a king and a proper constitution, so they determined
to send up a petition to Jove to give them what they wanted. "Mighty
they cried, "send unto us a king that will rule over us and keep
us in order." Jove laughed at their croaking, and threw down into
the swamp a huge Log, which came down - kerplash! - into the swamp.
The Frogs were frightened out of their lives by the commotion made in
their midst, and all rushed to the bank to look at the horrible monster;
but after a time, seeing that it did not move, one or two of the boldest
of them ventured out towards the Log, and even dared to touch it; still
it did not move. Then the greatest hero of the Frogs jumped upon the
Log and commenced dancing up and down upon it, thereupon all the Frogs
came and did the same; and for some time the Frogs went about their
business every day without taking the slightest notice of their new
King Log lying in their midst. But this did not suit them, so they
sent another petition to Jove, and said to him, "We want a real
king; one that will really rule over us." Now this made Jove angry,
so he sent among them a big Stork that soon set to work gobbling them
all up. Then the Frogs repented when too late.
Better no rule than cruel rule.
Fables of Aesop, by Joseph Jacobs with illustrations by
Richard Heighway (1894). The page images come from Google
Books. The digitized text comes from Project
Gutenberg. You can purchase this inexpensive Dover edition, The
Fables of Aesop by Joseph Jacobs from amazon.com.