Frog Fables from Aesop
The Frogs Asking for a King
THE FROGS, grieved at having no established Ruler, sent
ambassadors to Jupiter entreating for a King. Perceiving their
simplicity, he cast down a huge log into the lake. The Frogs
were terrified at the splash occasioned by its fall and hid
themselves in the depths of the pool. But as soon as they
realized that the huge log was motionless, they swam again to the
top of the water, dismissed their fears, climbed up, and began
squatting on it in contempt. After some time they began to think
themselves ill-treated in the appointment of so inert a Ruler,
and sent a second deputation to Jupiter to pray that he would set
over them another sovereign. He then gave them an Eel to govern
them. When the Frogs discovered his easy good nature, they sent
yet a third time to Jupiter to beg him to choose for them still
another King. Jupiter, displeased with all their complaints,
sent a Heron, who preyed upon the Frogs day by day till there
were none left to croak upon the lake.
The Boys and the Frogs
SOME BOYS, playing near a pond, saw a number of Frogs in the
water and began to pelt them with stones. They killed several of
them, when one of the Frogs, lifting his head out of the water,
cried out: "Pray stop, my boys: what is sport to you, is death to
The Ox and the Frog
AN OX drinking at a pool trod on a brood of young frogs and
crushed one of them to death. The Mother coming up, and missing
one of her sons, inquired of his brothers what had become of him.
"He is dead, dear Mother; for just now a very huge beast with
four great feet came to the pool and crushed him to death with
his cloven heel." The Frog, puffing herself out, inquired, "if
the beast was as big as that in size." "Cease, Mother, to puff
yourself out," said her son, "and do not be angry; for you would,
I assure you, sooner burst than successfully imitate the hugeness
of that monster."
The Mouse, the Frog, and the Hawk
A MOUSE who always lived on the land, by an unlucky chance formed
an intimate acquaintance with a Frog, who lived for the most part
in the water. The Frog, one day intent on mischief, bound the
foot of the Mouse tightly to his own. Thus joined together, the
Frog first of all led his friend the Mouse to the meadow where
they were accustomed to find their food. After this, he
gradually led him towards the pool in which he lived, until
reaching the very brink, he suddenly jumped in, dragging the
Mouse with him. The Frog enjoyed the water amazingly, and swam
croaking about, as if he had done a good deed. The unhappy Mouse
was soon suffocated by the water, and his dead body floated about
on the surface, tied to the foot of the Frog. A Hawk observed
it, and, pouncing upon it with his talons, carried it aloft. The
Frog, being still fastened to the leg of the Mouse, was also
carried off a prisoner, and was eaten by the Hawk.
Harm hatch, harm catch.
The Two Frogs
TWO FROGS dwelt in the same pool. When the pool dried up under
the summer's heat, they left it and set out together for another
home. As they went along they chanced to pass a deep well, amply
supplied with water, and when they saw it, one of the Frogs said
to the other, "Let us descend and make our abode in this well: it
will furnish us with shelter and food." The other replied with
greater caution, "But suppose the water should fail us. How can
we get out again from so great a depth?'
Do nothing without a regard to the consequences.
The Ass and the Frogs
AN ASS, carrying a load of wood, passed through a pond. As he
was crossing through the water he lost his footing, stumbled and
fell, and not being able to rise on account of his load, groaned
heavily. Some Frogs frequenting the pool heard his lamentation,
and said, "What would you do if you had to live here always as we
do, when you make such a fuss about a mere fall into the water?"
Men often bear little grievances with less courage than they do
The Two Frogs
TWO FROGS were neighbors. One inhabited a deep pond, far removed
from public view; the other lived in a gully containing little
water, and traversed by a country road. The Frog that lived in
the pond warned his friend to change his residence and entreated
him to come and live with him, saying that he would enjoy greater
safety from danger and more abundant food. The other refused,
saying that he felt it so very hard to leave a place to which he
had become accustomed. A few days afterwards a heavy wagon
passed through the gully and crushed him to death under its
A willful man will have his way to his own hurt.
The Quack Frog
A FROG once upon a time came forth from his home in the marsh and
proclaimed to all the beasts that he was a learned physician,
skilled in the use of drugs and able to heal all diseases. A Fox
asked him, "How can you pretend to prescribe for others, when you
are unable to heal your own lame gait and wrinkled skin?'
The Hares and the Frogs
THE HARES, oppressed by their own exceeding timidity and weary of
the perpetual alarm to which they were exposed, with one accord
determined to put an end to themselves and their troubles by
jumping from a lofty precipice into a deep lake below. As they
scampered off in large numbers to carry out their resolve, the
Frogs lying on the banks of the lake heard the noise of their
feet and rushed helter-skelter to the deep water for safety. On
seeing the rapid disappearance of the Frogs, one of the Hares
cried out to his companions: "Stay, my friends, do not do as you
intended; for you now see that there are creatures who are still
more timid than ourselves."
The Frogs' Complaint Against the Sun
ONCE UPON A TIME, when the Sun announced his intention to take a
wife, the Frogs lifted up their voices in clamor to the sky.
Jupiter, disturbed by the noise of their croaking, inquired the
cause of their complaint. One of them said, "The Sun, now while
he is single, parches up the marsh, and compels us to die
miserably in our arid homes. What will be our future condition
if he should beget other suns?'
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