The Two Frogs

Cover Image

(Found on a Japanese Folklore site.)

Once upon a time two frogs lived on opposite sides of Japan, one near the sea coastal town of Osaka and the other on the outskirts of the city Kyoto. They lived so far apart that neither had ever heard of the other, however they both decided they wanted to see other parts of Japan; the Kyoto frog decided he wanted to visit Osaka, and the Osaka frog decided he wanted to see Kyoto where the great Mikado lived in his grand palace.

So, they both set off on their respective journeys until they came to a large hill. They painstakingly hopped their way to the summit and came face-to-face with one another! It was a delightful surprise to learn they both had the same wish to see more of their homeland, and they decided to take a rest in a cool, damp place until they had to go their separate ways.

"What a pity that we are not bigger," said the Osaka frog. "If we were, we could see both Kyoto and Osaka from here and decide whether it's worth all the trouble."

"That is easily remedied!" The Kyoto frog answered. "If we only stand up on our hind legs and hold on to one another, we can see where we're going."

The Osaka frog was delighted at this suggestion and lept up and put his paws on the shoulders of his new friend, who did the same as they looked toward their respective destinations. Unfortunately, the foolish frogs forgot when they stood up their eyes lie in back of their heads so they could only see the direction where they'd come from.

"Dear me!" The Osaka frog cried. "Kyoto is exactly like Osaka. It is not worth travelling such a long way; I'm going home!"

"If I had any idea Osaka is an exact copy of Kyoto I never would have bothered coming this far," said the Kyoto frog, disheartened.

The two parted company and went home, believing for the rest of their lives that Kyoto and Osaka, as different as two places could be, were as alike as two peas.

Created: Apr 03, 2014


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