There was once a society of frogs....

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by dong20, May 30, 2007.

  1. dong20

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    ......that lived at the bottom of a deep, dark well, from which nothing whatsoever could be seen of the world outside. They were ruled over by a great Boss Frog, a fearful bully who claimed, on rather dubious grounds, to own the well and all that creeped or crawled therein. The Boss Frog never did a lick of work to feed or keep himself, but lived off the labors of the several bottom-dog frogs with whom he shared the well. They, wretched creatures, spent all the hours of their lightless days and a good many more of their lightless nights drudging about in the damp and slime to find the tiny grubs and mites on which the Boss Frog fattened.

    Now, occasionally an eccentric skylark would flutter down into the well (for God only knows what reason) and would sing to the frogs of all the marvelous things it had seen in its journeyings in the great world outside: of the sun and the moon and the stars, of the sky-climbing mountains and fruitful valleys and the vast stormy seas, and of what it was like to adventure the boundless space above them.

    <.....>

    Over to you, Hickboy...
     
  2. Quite Irate

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    This wouldn't happen to be about french people, by any chance? :wink:
     
  3. dong20

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    Its roots are Chinese, as it happens.:smile:
     
  4. SpoiledPrincess

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    Reminiscent of Yertle the Turtle.
     
  5. Chaz

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    More reminiscent of Animal Farm by George Orwel! Darn communists
     
  6. aristarchus

    aristarchus Member

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    Yet more reminiscent of Plato's Parable of the Cave....

    But shhhh.... let's see how it ends
     
  7. D_alex8

    D_alex8 Member

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    *struggling mentally at this point to get beyond the image of Boss Hogg from The Dukes of Hazzard * :rolleyes:
     
  8. B_Hickboy

    B_Hickboy New Member

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    That twinge in your intestines

    Ending A: So they killed him and ate him.
    Ending B: I'll wait for the movie.
    Ending C: I have to dream on it. I'll write something tomorrow...
     
  9. dong20

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    <...>

    Whenever the skylark came visiting, the Boss Frog would 20 instruct the bottom-dog frogs to attend closely to all the bird had to tell. "For he is telling you," the Boss Frog would explain, "of the happy laud wither all good frogs go for their reward when they finish this life of trials." Secretly, however, the Boss Frog (who was half deaf anyway and never very sure of what the lark was saying) thought this strange bird was quite mad.

    Perhaps the bottom-dog frogs had once been deceived by what the Boss Frog told them. But with time they had grown cynical about such fairy tales as skylarks had to tell, and had reached the conclusion also that the lark was more than a little mad.

    Moreover, they had been convinced by certain free-thinking frogs among them (though who can say where these free—thinkers come from?) that this bird was being used by the Boss Frog to comfort and district them with tales of pie in the sky which you get when you die. "And that's a lie!’ the bottom-dog frogs bitterly croaked.

    But there was among the bottom-dog frogs a philosopher frog who had invented a new and quite interesting idea about the skylark. "What the lark says is not exactly a lie," the philosopher frog suggested. "Nor is it madness. What the lark is really telling us about in its own queer way is the beautiful place we might make of this unhappy well of ours if only we set our minds to it. When the lark sings of sun and moon, it means the wonderful new forms of illumination we might introduce to dispel the darkness we live in. When it sings of the wide and windy skies, it means the healthful ventilation we should be enjoying instead of the dank and fetid airs we have grown accustomed to. When it sings of growing giddy with its dizzy swooping through the heavens, it means the delights of the liberated senses we should all know if we were not forced to waste ourselves in oppressive drudgery. Most important, when it sings of soaring wild and unfettered among the stars, it means the freedom we shall all have when the chains of the Boss frog are removed from our backs forever. So you see: the bird is not to be scorned. Rather, it should be appreciated and praised for bestowing on us an inspiration that emancipates us from despair.

    Thanks to the philosopher frog, the bottom-dog frogs came to have a new and affectionate view of the skylark. In fact, when the revolution finally came (for revolutions always do come), the bottom-dog frogs even inscribed the image of the skylark on the banners and, marched to the barricades doing the best they could in their croaking way to imitate the bird’s lyrical tunes. Following the Boss Frogs overthrow, the once dark, dank well was magnificently illuminated and ventilated and made a much more comfortable place to live. In addition, the frogs experienced a new and gratifying leisure with many attendant delights of the senses - even as the philosopher frog had foretold.

    But still the eccentric skylark would come visiting with tales of the sun and the moon and the stars, of mountains and valleys and seas, and of grand winged adventure it had known.

    ‘Perhaps,’ conjectured the philosopher frog, "this bird is mad, after all. Surely we have no further need of these cryptic songs. And in any case, it is very tiresome to have to listen to fantasies when the fantasies have lost their social relevance."

    So one day the frogs contrived to capture the lark. And upon so doing, they stuffed it and put it in their newly built civic (admission-free) museum ….. in a place of honor.


    Close enough!:biggrin1:

    THE SKYLARK AND THE FROGS - Adapted from a Chinese Fable.

    I first heard it at 16. I read it in Theodore Roszak's "The Making of a Counter Culture" but found elsewhere.
     
  10. dong20

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    I was inspired by some discussions here over recent weeks and the issues raised in Zora's Creation Museum thread finally made me search for the text.

    The symbolism seemed to fit.
     
  11. B_Hickboy

    B_Hickboy New Member

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    Yeah, but that's not what I had in mind... <BSEG>
     
  12. dong20

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    <BSEG>?
     
  13. HazelGod

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    Big Shit-Eating Grin?
     
  14. dong20

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    That works.
     
  15. aristarchus

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    It's very beautiful, if chilling. It is greater and more powerful than anything I could say in praise or exposition of it. Thanks for sharing it.
     
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