I am still doing my thing with Fables and Fairy Tales for the SCA. Eventually, I will compile and alter them in a Watchmage book of stories. I’m picturing a Decameron style book (I wonder why?) These three are from Aesop, but I combined them into one narrative. Enjoy.
A wise one can learn so much from one of Aesop’s fables. But I, your humble bard, have done better. Here are three of his fables, all connected. Presenting, The Epic Frog Trilogy of Epicness!
The Frog and the Mouse
A young Mouse in search of adventure was running along the bank of a pond next to a marsh, where lived a Frog. When the Frog saw the Mouse, he swam to the bank and croaked:
“Won’t you come with me to my home in the marsh? I can promise you adventure if you do.”
The Mouse did not need much coaxing, for he was excited to see the world and everything in it. But he did not dare risk going into the pond without some help.
The Frog had an idea. He tied the Mouse’s leg to his own with a tough reed. Then into the pond he jumped, dragging his young companion with him.
The Mouse soon grew afraid and wanted to return to shore; but the treacherous Frog had other plans. He pulled the Mouse down under the water and drowned him. But before he could untie the reed that bound him to the dead Mouse, a Hawk came sailing over the pond. Seeing the body of the Mouse floating on the water, the Hawk swooped down, seized the Mouse and carried it off. But the Frog was dangling from its leg! Thus at one swoop he had caught both for his dinner. For those that seek to harm others often come to harm themselves
Perhaps this frog earned his gruesome fate, but things would get much worse for our amphibious friends in the marsh.
The Fighting Oxen and the Frog
Two Oxen were fighting furiously in a field, at one side of which was the frog’s marsh. An old Frog living there marsh trembled as he watched the fierce battle.
“What are you afraid of?” asked a young Frog.
“Do you not see,” replied the old Frog, “that the Ox who is beaten, will be driven away from the field and will live in our marsh. We shall all be trampled into the mud?”
The young frog didn’t believe him, but it turned out as the old one had said. The beaten Ox was driven to the marsh, where his great hoofs crushed many frogs to death. For When the great battle, the weak suffer for it.
And so war came to the marsh, but the frogs persevered, as one does in the face of such ribbiting tragedy. So much, that one frog earned a far different fate.
The Frog and the Ox
The beaten Ox came down to a reedy pool to drink. As he splashed heavily into the water, he crushed a young Frog, the very frog that didn’t believe the old one, into the mud.
His brothers and sisters quickly told their mother, a huge and vain frog, what had happened and who had done this.
“It was great big monster,” said one of them, “he stepped on little brother with one of his huge feet!”
“Big, was he!” said the mother Frog, puffing herself up. “Was he as big as this?”
“Oh, much bigger!” they cried.
The Frog puffed up still more.
“He could not have been bigger than this,” she said. But the little Frogs all declared that the monster was much, much bigger and the old Frog kept puffing herself out more and more until, all at once, she burst. It was a horrible mess, frog guts everywhere.
Now the medieval moralists that preserved Aesop’s fables present the moral of this story as one should not attempt the impossible. But I humbly disagree. Attempt the impossible! Be larger than what you are. For though you may burst in the attempt, spilling frog guts everywhere, just before that moment, you will be larger, greater, more impossible, than you ever imagined you could be.