This blog may be more relevant today, than it was in August.

Micheline's Blog


“Les Grenouilles qui demandent un roi”

Le Chêne et le Roseau” is an exquisite fable, containing many lessons, one of which is the Vanitas vanitatum, omnia vanitas (Vanity of vanities; all is vanity, Ecclesiastes 1:2) that permeates French seventeenth-century literature. We all die, even kings. Death is the equalizer.

More timely, however, is a fable entitled “The Frogs who desired a King (book three, number IV of La Fontaine’s first volume of Fables [1668]).

“Les Grenouilles qui demandent un roi” tells the story of “silly and frightened” frogs who live in a democracy, but, tired of democracy, ask Jupiter for a monarch. Jupiter acquiesces. From the skies  descends a peace-loving king who makes a huge noise as he lands. This king is a beam (un soliveau) often represented as a log.

Frightened by the din, the frogs go into hiding, only to…

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