The frog and the fox

By Traditional

A frog was having a bath in a puddle in the middle of the jungle. He appeared quite happy splashing about in the water.

A fox passed by that place. “What are you up to there in the mud, you slimy creature?” asked the fox contemptuously.

“None of your business” croaked the frog, turning over in the mud once more.

“You really are a weird specimen”, said the fox. “How can you get about with one pair of short legs, and one pair of extra long ones?”

“You’d better watch out, you with your hairy nose”, replied the frog. “I’m the fastest frog in this whole jungle!”

The fox laughed dismissively.

“Tell you what”, said the frog, puffing himself up to twice his size, “I bet I’m quicker than you. We’ll have a race to prove it.”

The fox couldn’t believe what she was hearing. “You? Quicker than me? You slimy little toad! Very well, we’ll have a race. Meet me at the guava tree, twelve o’clock sharp!”

They met at the appointed hour. Frog had brought along his friend, duck. Duck had a very good voice, so he was going to shout out the starting signal.

They stood at the starting line, ready to dash off. Duck quacked the start signal. Fox started running. Frog, standing on his hind legs, took one almighty leap, and landed on the fox’s tail, where he hung on. Fox was so concentrated on her running that she didn’t notice a thing.

After having sprinted as fast as she could for a few minutes, fox stopped and turned round. She laughed. Frog was nowhere to be seen, she knew she had already won the race; all she had to do now was saunter along at a gentle pace. All the time frog was hanging on to fox’s tail, unobserved.

The finish line approached, and fox decided to make a little sprint, just for show. Just then, frog flung himself onto fox’s bag, and standing on his hind legs, made another almightily terrific jump. He landed over the finish lane, just as fox was about to cross it.

Frog jumped up and down. “I’ve won! I’ve won!”

Fox was incandescent with rage. “You cheat! You slimy spotty little cheat!”

Frog just laughed. “I was first to cross the line”, he said “You lost!”

Fox turned to duck. But duck agreed that frog was the winner. “Frog won the race fair and square” he quacked.

From that time on, whenever a fox passes a frog, it lifts it tail up in the air!

Frans Timmermans