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The Frogs Desiring a King



The Frogs, living an easy, free life everywhere among the lakes and ponds, assembled together one day, in a very tumultuous manner, and petitioned Jupiter to let them have a king, who might inspect their morals, and make them live a little honester. Jupiter, being at that time in pretty good humour, was pleased to laugh heartily at their ridiculous request, and, throwing a little log down into the pool, cried, "There is a king for you!" The sudden splash which this made by its fall into the water, at first terrified them so exceedingly that they were afraid to come near it. But, in a little time, seeing it lie still without moving, they ventured, by degrees, to approach it; and at last, finding there was no danger, they leaped upon it, and, in short, treated it as familiarly as they pleased. But, not contented with so insipid a king as this was, they sent their deputies to petition again for another sort of one; for this they neither did nor could like. Upon that he sent them a Stork, who, without any ceremony, fell devouring and eating them up, one after another, as fast as he could. Then they applied themselves privately to Mercury, and got him to speak to Jupiter in their behalf, that he would be so good as to bless them again with another king, or restore them to their former state. "No," says he; "since it was their own choice, let the obstinate wretches suffer the punishment due to their folly."


This fable teaches that it is better to be content with our present condition, however bad we may think it, than, by ambitious change, to risk making it worse.

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