The Frogs Asking for a King

In the days of old, when the frogs were all at liberty in the lakes and had grown quite weary of following every one his own devices, they assembled one day together. With no little clamor they petitioned Jupiter to let them have a king to keep them in better order and make them lead more honest lives.

Jupiter, knowing the vanity of their hearts, smiled at their request, and threw down a log into the lake, which by the splash and commotion it made, sent the whole commonwealth into the greatest terror and amazement. They rushed under the water and into the mud, and dared not come within ten leaps' length of the spot where it lay.

At length one frog, bolder than the rest, ventured to pop his head above the water and take a survey of their new king at a respectful distance. Presently, when they perceived the log lie stock-still, others began to swim up to it and around it. By degrees, growing bolder and bolder, they at last leaped upon it and treated it with the greatest contempt.

Dissatisfied with so tame a ruler, they forthwith petitioned Jupiter a second time for another and more active king, upon which he sent them a stork. It no sooner arrived among them than he began laying hold of them and devouring them one by one as fast as he could, and it was in vain that they endeavored to escape him.

Then they sent Mercury with a private message to Jupiter, beseeching him that he would take pity on them once more; but Jupiter replied that they were only suffering the punishment due to their folly, and that another time they would learn to let well alone, and not be dissatisfied with their natural condition.