Friday Fable. Phaedrus’ “THE PROUD FROG”*

Posted by jlubans on February 02, 2018

20180202-_frogs_drinking_2_35.jpg
Caption: Who croaks first?

“When poor men to expenses run,
And ape their betters, they’re undone.

An Ox the Frog a-grazing view’d,
And envying his magnitude,
She puffs her wrinkled skin, and tries
To vie with his enormous size:
Then asks her young to own at least
That she was bigger than the beast.
They answer, No. With might and main
She swells and strains, and swells again.
“Now for it, who has got the day?”
The Ox is larger still, they say.
At length, with more and more ado,
She raged and puffed, and burst in two.”

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Right now I am in Todos Santos, Baja, Mexico, where not long ago one could buy froggy souvenirs: blown up, taxidermied frogs downing beer, playing the saxophone, the trumpet, the accordion and the guitar, or dealing cards and smoking cigars; whatever your gringo heart might desire.
Alas, the “raged and puffed, and burst” condition can afflict the less than mighty among us who profess to be wiser, better, cooler, etc.
Apoplexy in humans is often caused by overweening ambition just like for the “proud frog”.
So, entertain yourself at your next panel of experts by listening for loud popping noises.

**Source: The Fables of Phaedrus Translated into English Verse. Phaedrus. Christopher Smart, A. M. London. G. Bell and Sons, Ltd. 1913.
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“Fables for Leaders” Library of the Week: The Veterinary Medicine Library of the North Carolina State University.
Get it? Stories for vets to tell their talking animals. Maybe someone in the business school will borrow it?
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Karen Muller reviews Fables for Leaders in “American Libraries” in her “How We Lead” column. Click here.

© Copyright John Lubans 2018

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