The Garden of Hesperides

A Bridge to Other Worlds


The Frog
– Author Unknown –

A group of frogs were hopping contentedly through the woods, going about their froggy business, when two of them fell into a deep pit. All of the other frogs gathered around the pit to see what could be done to help their companions.

When they saw how deep the pit was, they agreed that it was hopeless and told the two frogs in the pit that they should prepare themselves for their fate, because they were as good as dead.

Unwilling to accept this terrible fate, the two frogs began to jump with all of their might. Some of the frogs shouted into the pit that it was hopeless, and that the two frogs wouldn't be in that situation if they had been more careful, more obedient to the froggy rules, and more responsible. The other frogs continued sorrowfully shouting that they should save their energy and give up, since they were already as good as dead. The two frogs continued jumping with all their might, and after several hours of this, were quite weary.

Finally, one of the frogs took heed to the calls of his fellow frogs. Exhausted, he quietly resolved himself to his fate, lay down at the bottom of the pit, and died. The other frog continued to jump as hard as he could, although his body was wracked with pain and he was quite exhausted. Once again, his companions began yelling for him to accept his fate, stop the pain and just die. The weary frog jumped harder and harder and, wonder of wonders, finally leaped so high that he sprang from the pit.

Amazed, the other frogs celebrated his freedom and then gathering around him asked, "Why did you continue jumping when we told you it was impossible?"

The astonished frog explained to them that he was deaf, and as he saw their gestures and shouting, he thought they were cheering him on. What he had perceived as encouragement inspired him to try harder and to succeed against all odds.

This story contained an interpretation attached to it which I have seperated from the main body of the story. I tend to think that a story has a life of its own and therefore needs to stands on its own. But I include this appendix since I received it as an integral part of the story.

This simple story contains a powerful lesson. The book of Proverbs says, "There is death and life in the power of the tongue." Your encouraging words can lift someone up and help him/her make it through the day. Your destructive words can cause deep wounds; they may be the weapons that destroy someone's desire to continue trying – or even end their life.

Your destructive, careless word can diminish someone in the eyes of others, destroy their influence and have a lasting impact on the way others respond to them. Be careful what you say. Speak life to (and about) those who cross your path. There is enormous power in words. If you have words of kindness, praise or encouragement – speak them now to, and about, others. Listen to your heart and respond.

While I consider the above to be a valid enough interpretation, please permit me to include my own, perhaps to give another perspective, or perhaps to demonstrate how rich a story can be to be able to elicit many interpretations. What I read into this story is the potential value of a disability. A disability is usually too quickly dismissed as a difficulty or a negative factor. Here in this story we can see it as a vehicle or opportunity which enables or empowers us to become aware of and to live out options that may not be available otherwise.

Hesperides | Bridge to Other Worlds | The Hymn of the Pearl | The Frog | The Godson
The Emperor's Old Clothes | The Gypsy King | Gamuchi and the Abyss


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