Aesop's Fable 44: The Frogs and Zeus

There were once some frogs who lived together in a pond. The frogs all did what they liked. Some frogs liked to hop and splash, and other frogs liked just to sit and lie in the sun. The quiet frogs got frustrated with the frogs who hopped and splashed, so they decided that there should be a law against too much hopping and splashing. "We need a king who will make laws and rule over us," they said, and so they asked the god Zeus to give them a king.

"Dear frogs," Zeus replied, "you have the freedom to rule yourselves right now, and that is better than having a king."

"No," shouted the frogs, "send us a king!"

Zeus laughed at the foolish frogs and threw a big log down into the pond. "Here is your king!" he shouted.

At first, the frogs were scared of the log. Soon, however, they saw that the log did nothing at all. One frog even hopped on top of the log, and still the log did nothing. The frogs then complained to Zeus, "This log is not a king! We want a king who will be strong and rule over us!"

Zeus lost his temper and said to the frogs, "If you want a strong king, then that is what I will give you!" The angry god appointed a stork to be king of the frogs, and when the stork arrived, it began to eat the frogs, gobbling them up one by one.

The poor frogs realized their mistake too late. "We were better off when we ruled ourselves," they said. "Now this king will be our destruction!"

The moral of the story is that it's better to rule yourself than to be ruled by someone else.

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