Two Frogs in a Pail

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Once, there were two frogs who ventured from their quiet little pond. They hopped, as frogs do, across their bank, through the woods, over the field, until they happened upon a barn.

Now, the two had seen many things, but nothing quite like the barn. They hopped, as frogs do, all around. The pair climbed to the top of a hay bale, taking in the amazing scene.

The first turned to the second, “We’ve had a great adventure! Let’s head back and tell everyone of our discoveries.”

With a croak the second agreed, “But first, I want to check this out.” He hopped, as frogs do, down into a bucket of cream.

There was a moment of quiet. The first looked down skeptically, “You alright?”

The second frog burst out of the cream. “Alright? By-golly I’m amazing. This stuff is better than any fly I’ve ever tasted.”

“Really? Don’t we need to get back to the pond…” the first said while licking his lips.

The second swam around the pail, “Shucks, don’t be such a tadpole. We’ll head home when we’re done drinking. Come on in!”

The first hesitated. The cream looked so inviting and delicious. The frog had enjoyed this journey so far- what could go wrong? So he hopped, as frogs do, with a plunk into the pail of cream.

They reveled in the cream like hogs in slop. They drank until their bellies swelled and their croaks became belches.

“Well, I guess it’s about time to head on home,” said one after they had their fill. They turned their eyes upward. The pail looked taller than it had from hay bales.

The second frog readied himself, aiming for the top of the pail, and hopped. Not as frogs do, but a little leap that didn’t come close to half-way. The first readied himself, aiming for the top of the pail, and hopped. Not as frogs do, but a little leap that didn’t come close to a quarter of the way. Their bellies were too heavy with cream.

They tried hopping out of that pail for a while. Their stomachs sloshed with cream. They simply couldn’t hop as frogs do.

“The pail is too, tall!” exclaimed the first.

“We’re not going to get out of here,” realized the second.

His mind racing, the first suggested, “We’ll just not drink any more cream, and we’ll feel be able to hop out!”

“OK, OK, let’s do that.” They settled in and waited.

Sitting in that cream was not easy to do. The temptation to just flick their frog tongues into that cream was too much. After a while, they were more bloated than before and no closer to the top of the pail.

“We need a new plan!”

The second just sat back, a empty look in his eyes. “I don’t think we can get out.”

“Friend, we have to try! We made it all the way here from the pond. Surely we can get back, too.” The first frog attempted another leap.

Hopeless, the second frog took another mouthful of cream. He huddled up and left it to fate.

This scared the first frog. He leaped twice as much, twice as fast. Cream splashed against the walls, over his friend, into his mouth. His heavy stomach would not make it over the rim, but he thrashed around refusing to give in like the other frog. Even after his friend lay belly-up, he continued to try to get out of that pail of cream.

After hours of furious struggle, the frog was exhausted. Taking a break, he sat back. Wait. He… sat? His heart leaped as he looked around. The cream was solid! His jumping and thrashing had churned the cream to butter! With one last burst of energy he hopped, as frogs do, straight out of the pail.

Lying on the barn floor, dog tired, he thought of his friend who was gone from this world. When they were looking up from the bottom of that pail was scary, and the task at hand seemed impossible. If only his friend hadn’t given up so easily, they would’ve both gotten out.  The frog gave a ribbit in prayer for his friend, and thanked the great frog spirit.

He gathered the last of his energy and hopped, as frogs do, back to the pond.

No matter how dire our circumstances seem, if we keep hope in our hearts and give it our best effort, miracles do happen.

The Tale of Two Frogs in a Pail - A Fable for Recovery

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