The Frog and Jupiter – Jataka Tales

Kriloff’s Original Fables
After a long life spent within a bog,
Unto the hills above once moved a Frog,
For change of air
;
A damp place in the corner of a gorge he chose,
And soon his home arose, A paradise of grass in shade, just by a thicket, where,
For all the joys he thought his own, he only met with care With summer heat came every day
;
Our Croaker’s country seat was soon so dry,
That pains through all his limbs unwetted fly. ” Ye gods ! ” from out his hole the Frog did pray,
“Oh, deign my helpless self to save from ill, Let water to the mountain’s top the gorges fill
:
So that, as far as reaches my domain,
The flood shall. ne’er dry up again !” The Frog keeps up a ceaseless wail, And ends by Jupiter himself abusing,
That sense and mercy with him naught avail. “Thou foolish one ! ” says Jupiter refusing
(To anger him the plaint, it seemed, would fail), ” To croak at nothing well befits a frog ! But why should I, to please thy whim,
Drown men that like thee cannot swim ? ‘Hadst thou not better once again go back unto the bog ? ”
Oft in the world must we such folks admire,
Who to all interests save their own are cold,
Who, if themselves were safe, would willingly behold
The whole world blaze in one consuming fire.
[The idea of this fable is expressed by many Russian
proverbs ; for instance, ” For me, let the whole world burn,
if I may only live.”]