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THE OX AND THE FROG
Once upon a time . . . a conceited frog never missed an opportunity to show
his friends how different he was, and how much better than everyone else. When
folk were jumping, he always tried to do the highest jump, when it was a
question of diving, he was first into the water. In other words, he had to be
tops all the time. One day, a big ox came to drink at the pond. Frightened,
all the frogs hopped away to hide in the reeds, but when they saw that the ox
was harmless, they came out again to watch the huge beast. "Isn't he
whopping!" they exclaimed to each other. One frog then said: "It would take
hundreds of frogs like us to make one of him!"
Now, the conceited frog, far more scared than the others, had dived into
the water at the sight of the ox. But a little later he returned and, after
listening to his friends' remarks, he said: "He's certainly bigger than we
are. But he's not enormous!"
But nobody was paying any attention to the conceited frog, so he raised his
voice . . . and puffing out his chest, announced: "I could easily become as
big as that ox! Look!"
The frogs began to smirk. "You're very little, far too little!" But the
frog just blew himself out even more. "Now look," he whispered, as he tried
not to lose air. His friends giggled. "What about now?" he managed to gasp,
as he blew some more. "The ox is much bigger," came the reply. The conceited
frog made a last great effort: taking an extra deep breath, he blew himself up
until . . . BANG! His skin burst! The astonished frogs saw their friend
disappear from sight, for nothing was left of the conceited frog but scraps of
green skin. The ox, who had raised his head when he heard the bang, went back
to his drinking, and the frogs hopped away, remarking: "It doesn't do to
become too swollen-headed . . ."