“The Frog and the Pot of Water”…a Cautionary Tale
I am troubled by the slide – perhaps landslide is a better word – in the moral fabric of our nation. Just fifty years ago, 70% of U.S. citizens polled agreed that pre-marital sex was wrong and that homosexuality was a sin. Today, these numbers are reversed. Marriage between one man and one woman was the overwhelming norm back then. Today not so, as same sex marriage is sweeping through our society with great applause. What is going on? How did this troubling reversal happen in such a short time?
Troubled in Texarkana
You have called attention to an age-old question which has sent many theologians, philosophers, and divines to drink: “what happened to the old days?” I, too, am befuddled by this, so I turned to my old friend, Lester Smedley, head guru of the Prim Theophilosophy Institute, to get his take on all this. Here’s Lester’s confabulation on your questions:
“One day not too long ago, a frog named ‘Inquisitive’ – ‘Inky” for short, known far and wide as being the most moral of all God’s creatures, was strolling in the woods near his favorite stream when he came upon a untended campsite and noticed that a pot of water was hanging over a smoldering fire pit. As it was a unusually cool morning, Inky thought that a little hop into the warming water in the pot would take the chill off him. But before he took this small leap, he remembered as his parents taught him, to check the Forest and Stream Traveler’s Guide if leaving the trail and hopping into a pot of water over a fire was a good idea.”
“As Inky read the pages of the manual covering Leaving the Path, he soon learned that it was very dangerous to stray from the path – and certainly even more precarious to jump into a pot of warming water. This latter warning explained that once in a pot with its inward angled sides getting back out could be very difficult – almost impossible. Disappointed, Inky checked the publication date of the manual and found it to be hundreds of years ago. As the morning chill increased and as the vapors of the soothing warm water drifted toward him, Inky reasoned that the manual was out of date and therefore did not apply to the current situation and so, he hopped into the pot to avail himself to its warming comforts.”
“Inky was not disappointed as indeed the warming waters did indeed remove his chill. And soon, relaxed and drowsy, he was dreaming of his lady frog friend ‘Freda,’ waiting for him on the lily pad back at their home pond. Shortly after Inky had fallen asleep, the campers returned to their campsite and quickly added more wood to their fire so as to make steaming hot water for their morning coffee.”
“As the temperature of the water rose, it seemed not to bother Inky as he had gotten used to the warming soothing waters, oblivious to his dangerous predicament. Soon, a layer of Inky’s skin peeled off, this being the covering of his moral fiber. As the pain from this peeling woke Inky from his slumber, he quickly realized his peril. He attempted to climb up he inward slopping sides of the pot, but he could not gain any traction and so, he continued to cook. As the water continued to rise to a boil, more and more of Inky’s flesh was dissolving in the boiling water. Just when it seemed that Inky’s life was over, one of the campers noticed what remained of Inky floating on the surface, so he fished it out with a ladle and flung what was left of Inky into the nearby brush, disgusted that his coffee water was now frog flavored.”
“Inky did survive but only with a useless unheard squeak, his croak no longer a vibrant moral voice heard in the forest.”
So, Troubled, according to Smedley, this tale holds the answers to your questions: when, where, and how Inky – and our society – went wrong. Smedley says it was when Inky – and us – disregarded the Forest and Stream Travelers Guide, his – and our troubles – began.
Yours truly, The Geezer