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The Two Frogs, by Aesop

The Two Frogs, by Aesop, in the Classical Liberal Arts Academy.

In this lesson, we study Aesop’s Fable of “The Two Frogs”. To complete the objectives of this lesson, complete the following tasks:

  1. Study the fable for mastery, being careful to learn all of the details of the fable.
  2. Study the lesson exposition below.
  3. Complete the lesson assessment.


One hot summer, the lake in which two Frogs lived was completely dried up, and they were obliged to set off in search of water elsewhere. Coming to a deep and deliciously cool well, one of the Frogs proposed that they should jump in at once. “Wait a bit.” cried the other; “If that should dry up, how could we get out again?”

Exposition of the fable of the Two Frogs

by William C. Michael

In this fable, Aesop leads us in a meditation on the experience of two frogs. These frogs, we read, were suffering through a terrible drought, which caused the lake in which they lived to dry up. Being dried up, it was impossible for them to remain there, so they had to set off to find a wet place to live.

We can imagine that the longer they looked, the more worried they would become. Would they ever find a place to live? Might they be near the end of their lives? Might rain come and make everything alright? What will they do?

We can also imagine their joy when they discovered a “deep and deliciously cool well”. We can imagine how eager they might be, worn out by the heat and dust of the road, to dive into the cool water and return to safety. However, their excitement might lead them into trouble.

One of the frogs couldn’t control his excitement and was ready to leap into the well. The other frog, however, had second thoughts. They were traveling because the lake in which they lived had dried up. What good would it be for them to find another home if it will soon dry up as well? Even worse, if they make their home in a deep well, and it dried up, would they be able to escape? In the end, their situation might be even worse!

While the fable ends there, it seems that the frogs were careful and made sure they were safe before jumping into the well.

What is the moral of the fable of the Two Frogs?

The “moral” of a fable is the moral lesson it teaches us. The moral is important because it is a general moral lesson can be applies to many different situations in life. Teaching these moral lessons is the purpose of Aesop’s fables.

The moral of this fable is that we must be careful that, when seeking the solution to a problem, we do not choose something just as bade–or even worse. Thinking of the frogs in the fable, we may say that Aesop teaches us that it is important, “Look before you leap.”

Why has Aesop chosen these characters?

Why does Aesop choose to teach us this moral lesson with frogs as his characters? It seems likely that it is because they move not by crawling slowly like a turtle but by leaping. Any time they move, they do so with a leap. This gives us a good image to keep in mind. We need to avoid moving like frogs, but move carefully, moving one step at a time, thinking as we go.

Source: Aesop’s Fables. (1878). Google Books.

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