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    Aesop on Politics

    October 29, 2008 by Brandy Vencel

    Part of today’s reading was a very interesting fable from Aesop called The Frogs Who Wished for a King. The frogs in this story are “tired of governing themselves.” So, they ask Jupiter for a king, one who will “rule them in a way to make them know they were being ruled.” They also want someone who really acts like royalty and will “entertain them with pomp and display.”

    In the beginning, Jupiter tries to protect them from their own desires. He sends them a mock king, King Log, who begins his rule with the appearance of greatness without actually interfering in the lives of the frogs. But they are not content, and complain to Jupiter once again. The story continues:

    To teach the Frogs a lesson the ruler…now sent a Crane to be king of Frogland. The Crane proved to be a very different sort of king from old King Log. He gobbled up the poor Frogs right and left and they soon saw what fools they had been. In mournful croaks they begged Jupiter to take away the cruel tyrant before they should all be destroyed.

    “How now!” cried Jupiter. “Are you not yet content? You have what you asked for and so you have only yourselves to blame for your misfortunes.”

    Aesop’s moral?

    Be sure you can better your condition before you seek to change.

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    5 Comments

  • Reply Rahime October 30, 2008 at 9:02 pm

    Yes, it does. Scary. I don’t think it was entirely the idea of the king that was wrong but rather the need to be like other nations and have someone fight their battles for them. (and in Aesop…rule so that they know their being ruled)

    (sorry, I was logged into another account above…oops)

  • Reply Stacey October 30, 2008 at 8:57 pm

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Reply Brandy October 30, 2008 at 7:47 pm

    Actually, now that I think of it, I’m not sure which is more striking: that they want a king, or that they want to “be like other nations.” Reminds me of the folks who want us to become socialist so that we can be like Europe.

  • Reply Brandy October 30, 2008 at 7:46 pm

    Indeed.

  • Reply Rahime October 29, 2008 at 7:43 pm

    Sounds familiar… didn’t we see this in 1 Sam. 8? (one of my favorite passages).

    19 But the people refused to listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We want a king over us. 20 Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles.”

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