Monday, 14 June 2010

A fairy tale

A frog lives at the bottom of a very deep well

The frog knows many important things about living at the bottom of its well and about how to survive there. It even knows something about the sides of the well, and believes that it should not or could not climb out. Perhaps it is right.

Far above, it can see a small circle of sky. It knows about this too. It knows that sometimes it is bright and sometimes dark, that sometimes it is blue and sometimes grey, and that sometimes it lets fall some drops of rain.

But it does not know how big the sky is, or see all the amazing things that happen beneath it.

It has a very limited world view (Weltanschauung) and thinks, and acts, accordingly.

I do not think that this frog will get far, nor that it will ever meet the Princess. It will live and die at the bottom of its well.


  1. "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
    Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."
    (Hamlet Act I.v)

  2. Absolutely. It applies to every single one of us and, given the infinity of what we cannot know, it applies in the same proportion to us all!

    What varies is the degree to which we recognise the degree and the effects of our own tunnel-vision.


  3. Emma McDowell writes –

    Hello, Andrew,
    Don’t forget the fable of the two frogs that fell into the milking pale.

    One, he kicked and kicked, and turned the milk into solid butter and jumped out.

    The other: gave up kicking, sank and drowned...

    Best wishes ,


  4. Shucks, Andrew. At first, I thought the frog was a figure for CE; then later, I asked myself if perhaps you weren't thinking of the frog as a motif for the system and its servants.
    Be that as it may, my first reaction was to say, "Well then, I suppose that frog ought to do something to that water so the surface dwellers take notice and bring him up!"