A Humbling Lesson

Of all the creatures that came to the watering hole, Frog was the only one that did not have a tail. The other animals taunted him over it, making him feel inferior and ugly. So Frog visited the Sun God and asked him for a tail. The Sun God granted Frog his wish on the condition that Frog watch over the Sun God’s special lagoon. Frog agreed. Soon a terrible drought seized the area, and the Sun God’s lagoon was the only watering hole available for many miles.

Creatures from all over the land came to Frog’s new home in need of water. But Frog was very full of himself with his new long tail and his powerful position as keeper of the only watering hole. His sense of entitlement had mushroomed, as had his self-esteem. And because he had never forgotten how the other creatures used to tease him, he turned away every animal from the lagoon without giving them so much as a sip. After a while, word of Frog’s antics reached the Sun God, who decided to verify this behavior firsthand.

He found Frog swishing through the water, gleefully flaunting his tail. As the Sun God approached the water’s edge, he heard Frog shout, “Whoever you are, move along! This water is not for you! This special lagoon is mine to do with as I please —because I am the most beautiful of all creatures.” Angered, the Sun God exiled Frog and cursed him for the rest of his days. Now, every spring Frog is born a tadpole with a long tail. As he grows, the tail shrinks until it disappears—to remind Frog that the only reward for spiteful and arrogant behavior is the loss of things one truly cherishes in life.

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