Happy Frog: A Fairy Tale

Article type: Writing exercise, Short Story, Fairy Tale
Average reading time: 8 to 10 minutes

The idea for this post started with a quotation I tried to write down and then that quotation turned into more ideas in my mind and then I decided I should type it down and see what comes out of those vague ideas in the brain.

As the title says, this post is a fairy tale about a frog. You will have to believe that frogs can talk, dance, and sing too.

I tried consciously not to sound self-help-ish, but excuse me when I showoff some Guru Gyan here and there. Easy to preach, but difficult to follow. Please read it and I would love to hear your feedback and comments. Please share your thoughts using the comments form.

Like every other childhood fairy-tale we have heard, this story too, starts with the most used starting words: ‘Once upon a time, there was a…..’

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Happy Frog – A Fairy Tale

Once upon a time, there was a frog in a well. Where the well was located didn’t really matter to the frog, because, for the frog that well was the world. It had no idea that there is a world beyond the well. But then the frog was happy; oblivious of the external world.

Can we say that this frog is a fool who never really tried to come out of the well to see the beautiful world outside? Why would it try when it had no clue that there was something beyond that well? There was water all the time in the well. May be, if the well dried up, then there was a chance that it might try to climb up and see if it can find water elsewhere. There was no water scarcity and there was no food scarcity too. It lived happily; until that day when it was forced to come out of the well.

This frog was born and brought up in the very same well where generations of its ancestors lived and died; happily.

It had many friends to play with when it was a child. It played many games with other frog-kids in the neighborhood. When it was hungry, it returned to the home and the mother-frog always had something for her kids to eat.

But there came a time when it was no more a kid. It entered the adolescence and eventually fell in love and married another frog. As we know things happened between them and then they became parents of five beautiful frogs. I know what you are thinking about. How can frogs be beautiful? Beauty is relative. Beauty is beauty because we see something else as ugly.

Coming back to our frog, it was quite happy in the well. Now the sole purpose was to make sure its kids were happy and its partner was happy. It used to roam around the well and almost knew everyone else there. There were snakes too. But where else it could go? Die naturally or die in a snake’s stomach. That’s what happened to every frog in that well. Either naturally or as a snake’s supper, they died in that well for sure.

But the frog was happy.

There was nothing to worry about. There was everything that is needed for a frog to be born, live, and die; happily. Food, freedom, and pleasure, and a place of their own.

And one day this happened which changed its life forever. It was happily sleeping in the well when a huge flood from the neighboring river swept across all the fields and then filled the well with flood water. The flood was so huge that many houses were swept away. This well was no exception and the flood water filled it in almost no time.

For the first time in the frog’s life, it came out of the well. Till the flood receded in a couple of days, it clung to a tree and saved its life. Survival is the primitive instinct and every animal has mastered that art through the millions of years of evolution.

When the flood receded, it jumped down from the tree and tried to catch something to eat as it hadn’t eaten for many days. But then, it suddenly realized it had lost its family. It went on searching endlessly for many days and then in the process, it made new friends and forgot its old family. Now it has a new family, but then it isn’t a happy family as it was in that old well.

It realized things are not so easy outside the well. There are even bigger dangers than snakes. It saw some of its friends bodies on the roads trashed by motor vehicles. But then it had to live.

There was no easy food in the city with concrete roads and underground drainage systems.

One day this frog meets another frog while searching for food. The another frog was very happy and looked to enjoy life without any concern for finding food. It asks that another frog to know where that frog was finding food. Then that another frog tells the secret and asks not to share it with others.

The secret was that the another frog was doing a job in a nearby laboratory. The owner promised the frog with very good food and in return it had to do few favors to the scientists. They were trying to understand the functionality of the brain and they wanted to train frogs to do certain things.

Our frog was so excited at hearing this and told the other frog that it likes to join the job. Then with the help of this new friend, it finds the job.

At first, the job seemed to be so easy. It had to reach the lab in the morning and do whatever the scientists try to tell the frog. It was so excited and liked the varieties of food it was served with. Now that the difficulties of finding food were taken care of, it was enjoying the life very well.

It started to think that life is so beautiful outside the well. It thought that all the frogs in the well are fools and never try to come out of the well. It regretted why it had never tried to come out of the well before to enjoy the world beyond the well. If only it had tried, it could  have been eating good food.

It liked the job and it liked the food. But for not for a very long time, though. There were few things which it did not like to do. But the scientists were forcing the frog to do. And the laboratory food which was so tasty few months ago, no more tastes as good as it tasted initially. The same food on everyday was also boring. Then many things added to the frustration and sometimes the other frogs were given better food because they were doing better at the job. And there were frog politics too. Few frogs were getting good food even thought they weren’t working as hard as our frog.

Then there came a time when it hated waking up in the morning and going to the laboratory. Going through many things it didn’t like, all in the name of earning food. But it had no other option. Now that its natural instincts to find food are no more working properly, it had no other option but to work to get food. No job, no food.

Except that the trouble of finding food was removed from its life, there was nothing to be happy about now. It was rarely happy and the routine was so boring. But there was no escape from life.

The longing to go back to the well started. But how could it find the well? Adding to that, all the hard work it did in the laboratory made it physically very weak and it was not even sure it could swim in the water now.

All that life in the old well seemed like a dream for the frog now.

But one day, it had decided that it will no more go to the lab and decided to try and find the well. After a very hard search, it found a well in a park. Not that same old well though. The moment it jumped in to the well, miraculously it started swimming and then it was really happy after a long time.

After it completely enjoyed the freedom of being in the well again, it realized it was hungry. It had to find food now. A habit which it forgot a long time ago and all its natural food finding instincts are almost forgotten by this time.

Any insect it tried to catch escaped its tongue. It soon had to realize that finding food is very difficult in the well as opposed to it was before. It depended on vegetation and learned to eat leaves and survive. But it sometimes wanted to eat those good tasting insects which it ate in the laboratory. But it cannot find them here as it has lost all the skills to hunt for the insects.

And it started to realize, after all, the life out side the well was good. There was really good food and it had to do a day job to earn it. But then it din’t like that life for a long time. It suffered a lot to get to back to this well only to realize life in the well was no more easy as it was before leaving the well for the first time.

It started to think about leaving the well again. Before it was forced to leave the well, it never knew anything beyond that well. Now that it saw life outside the well, it cannot stop thinking about leaving the well. After all, it cannot starve to death and also cannot eat leaves for the rest of its life.

Should I leave the well? Or should I stay in the well? It thought about it obsessively for days.

One fine day, it decided to leave the well and started climbing upwards in the well. It was very difficult as there was nothing on the walls of the well to clung to. It had to struggle a lot, but finally it jumped out of the well.

***

The proverb about the frog in the well is a very well known one in many languages. But should the frog really care about external world when it is happy in itself in the well? How does it matter whether it knows the outside world or not? These were the questions  which made me write this post.

I hope you liked it.

I am sure there could have been a better ending if I had given more time to think. But I thought ending has no significance in this story and I left it to the reader’s imagination.

Thank you for reading this and I will be happy to hear your feedback/comments.

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6 Comments

  1. Posted September 9, 2011 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    Nice story. In fact it also applies to all humans. we are looking for easy way of life and in the process destroying Earth and beyond.

    Well presented. Initial part can be modified to go with the pace of the later parts of the story.

    We all know what is the end of the Frog story and our story but……………

  2. Posted September 9, 2011 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    I liked the story and the ending too. Barring a few grammatical mistakes, the story is good :) ..

    • Posted September 9, 2011 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      Thank you Nivedita. Would be great if you let me know the mistakes too :)

  3. Posted October 1, 2011 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    good story well tackled
    done nicely
    i thing stories or any writings should end in a way that the reader is left thinking
    that leaves a reader with more imagination

  4. Rajesh kakkar
    Posted October 28, 2011 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

    Very well written piece …… I always felt the way you have raised the question… Had the Frog not known what lies beyond the well, he would have ‘lived happily thereafter’ …..
    How does it matter whether one lives happily or not…… Lives as a rich man or a poor man…… Good or bad , time always pass….

    Any way, pleasantly surprised to know that in the books you like , the fountainhead and the alchemist finds a place…..though completely different in nature the two books are my favourite ones
    Great….

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