Wednesday, October 6, 2021

AN AESOP'S FABLE

Another Aesop's Fable. one that is particularly apt for those flouting the COVID  lockdown and health restrictions, and for the anti-vaxxers . . . 

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The Frogs Who Wished for a King

The Frogs were tired of governing themselves. They had so much freedom that it had spoiled them, and they did nothing but sit around croaking in a bored manner and wishing for a government that could entertain them with the pomp and display of royalty, and rule them in a way to make them know they were being ruled. No milk and water government for them, they declared. So they sent a petition to Jupiter asking for a king.

Jupiter saw what simple and foolish creatures they were, but to keep them quiet and make them think they had a king he threw down a huge log, which fell into the water with a great splash. The Frogs hid themselves among the reeds and grasses, thinking the new king to be some fearful giant. But they soon discovered how tame and peaceable King Log was. In a short time the younger Frogs were using him for a diving platform, while the older Frogs made him a meeting place, where they complained loudly to Jupiter about the government.

To teach the Frogs a lesson the ruler of the gods now sent a Crane to be king of Frogland. The Crane proved to be a very different sort of king from old King Log. He gobbled up the poor Frogs right and left and they soon saw what fools they had been. In mournful croaks they begged Jupiter to take away the cruel tyrant before they should all be destroyed.

"How now!" cried Jupiter "Are you not yet content? You have what you asked for and so you have only yourselves to blame for your misfortunes."

Moral:

Be sure you can better your condition before you seek to change.

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From Wikipedia at:

The original context of the story, as related by Phaedrus, makes it clear that people feel the need of laws but are impatient of personal restraint. His closing advice is to be content for fear of worse. By the time of William Caxton, who published the first version in English, the lesson drawn is that 'he that hath liberty ought to kepe it wel, for nothyng is better than liberty'. In his version, it is a heron rather than a snake that is sent as king. A later commentator, the English Royalist Roger L'Estrange, sums up the situation thus: 'The mob are uneasy without a ruler. They are as restless with one; and oftner they shift, the worse they are: so that Government or no Government, a King of God’s making or of the Peoples, or none at all, the Multitude are never to be satisfied.’

Yet another view was expressed by German theologian Martin Luther in his "On Governmental Authority" (1523). There he speaks of the scarcity of good rulers, taking this lack as a punishment for human wickedness. He then alludes to this fable to illustrate how humanity deserves the rulers it gets: 'frogs must have their storks.'

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