The Frogs Desiring a King

The Frogs were living as happy as could be in a marshy swamp that just suited them. They went splashing about, caring for nobody and nobody troubled them.
But some of the frogs thought that this was not right, that they should have a king and a proper constitution, so they sent up a petition to Zeus to give them what they wanted.

“Mighty Zeus,” they cried, “send unto us a king that will rule over us and keep us in order.”

Zeus laughed at their croaking and threw down into the swamp a huge Log.
The Frogs were frightened out of their lives by the commotion made in their midst, and all rushed to the bank to look at the horrible monster. But after a time, seeing that it did not move, one or two of the boldest of them ventured out towards the Log, and even dared to touch it. Still it did not move.
Then the greatest hero of the Frogs jumped upon the Log and commenced dancing up and down upon it; thereupon all the Frogs came and did the same, and for some time the Frogs went about their business every day without taking the slightest notice of their new King Log lying in their midst.
But this did not suit them, so they sent another petition to Zeus, and said to him,

“We want a real king; one that will really rule over us.”

Now this made Zeus angry, so he sent them a big Stork that soon set to work gobbling them all up. Then the Frogs repented, but it was too late.

Better no rule than cruel rule.

Special Note:
If you liked this tale, keep an eye out for the classic film, Frogland.
This short (6 minutes), silent black and white 16mm film, from 1923 was directed by Ladislas Starevich.

In the film, a kingdom of frogs appeals to the god Jupiter for a new leader and gets more than it bargained for. Starevich, one of the pioneers of stop-action animation, created this film using claymation and actual stuffed frogs! I recently got to see this film and it was really cool!

There is a well-designed, comprehensive site devoted to Starevich and his films at The site includes a Starevich biography, pages devoted to each of his films, including Quicktime movies of short sequences that show the detail involved in Starevich's animation style. Unfortunately, last time I checked the site was gone...but incase it re-appears I'll leave the link here. Please let me know if you know of the new internet address.

More Frog Fables.