30 Mar The foolish frog
A greenish-grey old bulky frog tired of being in the sluggish pond and resolving the broods croaky fights, attempted to jump up above the bank into the sunshine that blinded his eyes, where he secretly yearned to be since long.
Told his brood of his intentions, and they croaked ideas. Most skeptical of the world out; some accused him of being a deserter; some doubted his intentions; and others called him foolish.
Confused and heart-broken, he stayed back though he knew they were wrong.
After a few months, he tried again. The same ruckus ensued. This time more of the brood called him foolish.
Loathing himself for giving in, he stayed back though he knew they were wrong.
Determined after a few more months, he made friends with one frog sitting on the bank looking down. Every night he jumped up in the dead of night, met with his new friend and listened to stories about the world outside and returned before his brood woke up.
The entire day he relived the stories he heard.
A year went by. As more months passed by, his night-time activity left him drained of energy. He got quieter by the day and kept aloof, dreaming and planning about all that he would do when he got out.
The entire brood now called him foolish.
Desperate and wild, in bitter resignation, he declared, this is my last day with you all. I’m gonna live my life the way I desire. That night, the brood didn’t sleep. He was in a dilemma – watching the brood that sat up, some pleading with him not to go, others angry and calling him selfish.
Defeated of confidence and energy he slumped in a corner.
Two nights later, his petrified friend jumped in to the pond looking for him. Unable to hide his relief on seeing the old frog alive, he hugged him and the entire brood pounced on him, blaming the stranger for misleading one among them. Nothing the old frog did could stop the strong brood from tearing the guest apart. And he croaked his last in the sluggish pit.
The entire brood erupted in a dance calling his friend foolish. “What a fool is he! The fool comes in here to get killed! The fool, the biggest fool…”
The old frog sat up and tried defending his friend’s honour – the least he could do. “Stop calling him a fool.”
None paid heed. While they celebrated, he slipped out of the pond, with his friend limp on his back.
The journey up the bank was so strenuous for the energy-strapped oldie that he lay exhausted after the climb under the rising sun, holding the carcass of his friend.
He never woke up.