Fiction: A Frog Fable of Our Time

frogfableOnce upon a time there was a frog named Jumps As High As the Moon. Jumps As High As the Moon lived on a great, big green lily pad in the middle of a lovely little pond. His parents gave him his name for a reason. Jumps As High As the Moon had the most powerful, the most elastic legs on the pond. He could leap from one lily pad on the eastern rim of the pond all the way to the western reeds, and that was at least 20 frog lengths away.

All day long, when he wasn’t sunning himself proudly on his lily pad or catching flies for his supper, Jumps As High As the Moon hopped from lily pad to lily pad landing with a mighty thump so very far away from where he started.

Now, Jumps As High As the Moon was awfully proud of his jumping ability. He had a song he like to sing, sometimes before he jumped, sometimes after, and sometimes, because he was in the air so long, he liked to sing the song while he jumped. The song went like this:

“Hop, hop, hop to the top. I land on the lily with a great big plop.”

Now, a teensy tiny baby tadpole lived not too far from the big green lily pad where Jumps As High As the Moon liked to sun himself and catch flies. The tadpole was a weak little thing with no arms or legs to speak of. It often watched admiringly as Jumps As High As the Moon used his powerful hind legs to leap clear across the pond.

“Could you teach me how to jump like you do?” the tadpole asked Jumps As High As the Moon one bright and early morning after breakfast.

“No,” said the frog, “you need legs to jump like me, big powerful legs like mine.”

No matter how the tadpole pleaded and pleaded, the answer was always no. And so, it was forced to remain a bystander, watching admiringly but discontentedly from its perch in the shallow reeds near the big green lily pad.

“Maybe,” said the tadpole, “I will grow up to be successful investment banker.”

“But why?” said Jumps As High As the Moon. “You have such a fine nascent aptitude for engineering and we are falling so very far behind the Chinese in the hard sciences.”

“Maybe,” said the tadpole, “strong mentoring by you in the form of teaching me how to leap from one lily pad to another lily pad so very far away across the pond would instill in me the confidence to pursue a more rigorous academic path.”

“Bah,” said Jumps As High As the Moon, and as he said so he leapt mightily into the air as high as the moon and then a smidgen higher for good measure, leaving the crestfallen young tadpole flitting about dejectedly albeit determinedly in the shallows, while he himself landed with a mighty thump so very far away from where he started.

Later, the tadpole grew up to be successful investment banker with a six figure income and a corporate jet that could fly him anywhere in the world, much further than from one end of a dinky little pond to the other.

As for Jumps As High As the Moon, he kept his name but suffered a debilitating ligament injury from an awkward landing at a long jump competition and was never the same after. He tried coaching but found his heart wasn’t in it.

Eventually, he put together a resume and applied for an entry level position with an investment banking firm that just so happened to be the one at which that former little tadpole had become so successful.

The former tadpole was gracious about it, allowing Jumps As High As the Moon the chance to compete with all of the other frogs in the mailroom for the assistant mailroom supervisor position. Gracious as he was, that former little tadpole, now a handsome young frog in his own right, sometimes couldn’t help himself from leaping past the mailroom window as powerfully and as elastically as he could, into the arms of his waiting gorgeous frogette girlfriend.

And Jumps As High As the Moon, arthritic and no longer able to jump even halfway across the pond, well, he paid no attention. He had a job to do, and besides that, his girlfriend wasn’t too bad looking herself, and she loved him for who he was. She was also a highly skilled Chinese engineer, which helped when the revolution came.

The moral of the story is that you should always work for the government. The Federal Employees Health Benefits Program would have paid for ligament surgery and let him retire early with full pension plus disability.

Share Button