The Frogs Who Asked for a King book cover

The Frogs Who Asked for a King

"The Frogs Who Asked for a King" is a fable by Jean de La Fontaine that centers around a community of frogs who, unhappy with their current way of life, plead with the gods to grant them a king. Initially, a peaceful log is sent as their ruler, but dissatisfied with its passivity, they request for a more active king. In response, the gods send a stork that starts eating them. The book is a cautionary tale warning against discontentment and the dangers of desiring too much change without considering the potential consequences.


Genre: Fable
Year:
1668
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Of Democrats the Frogs grew tired, And unto Monarchy aspired; Clamour so loud, that from a cloud Great Jove in pity dropped a King, Silent and peaceful, all allowed; And yet he fell with such a splash, the thing Quite terrified those poor marsh folks, Not fond of jokes, Foolish and timid, all from him hid; And each one brushes To hide in reeds, or sneak in rushes; And from their swampy holes, poor little souls! For a long time they dared not peep At the great giant, still asleep. And yet the monarch of the bog Was but a LOG, Whose solemn gravity inspired with awe The first who venturing saw: He hobbled somewhat near, With trembling and with fear; Then others followed, and another yet, Until a crowd there met; At last the daring mob grew bolder, And leaped upon the royal shoulder; Good man, he did not take it ill, But as before kept still. Soon Jupiter is deafened with the din-- "Give us a king who'll move," they all begin. The monarch of the gods sends down a Crane, Who with a vengeance comes to reign. He gobbles and he munches, He sups and lunches; Till louder still the Frogs complain. "Why, see!" great Jupiter replied, "How foolishly you did decide. You'd better kept your first--the last is worst. You must allow, if you are fair, King Log was calm and debonair: With him, then, be ye now content, For fear a third, and worse, be sent."
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Jean de La Fontaine

Jean de La Fontaine was a renowned French fabulist and one of the most famous poets during the French classical period. He was born on July 8, 1621, and died on April 13, 1695. Known for his literary style, he is best known for his "Fables", which are considered classics of French literature. His works were marked by his sophisticated style and moral substance, and his fables provided a scathing critique of French society during his time. more…

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