Aesop Fables – The Ox and the frogs

The Frog and the Ox – Aesop Fables

This children’s short story called “The Frog and the Ox” is a very famous and old tale which talks about how one must not try and boast and do something which one can never do. Aesop’s fables have long been treasured for their timeless wisdom and moral lessons.

Among these enchanting stories, “The Frog and the Ox” stands out as a thought-provoking tale that imparts a valuable lesson about the dangers of unchecked ambition and the importance of contentment. In this article, we will delve into the narrative of  the story and explore the underlying wisdom that resonates with us even today.

If you want to read another thought provoking tale from the Aesop Fables, you can read Belling the cat or The city mouse and the country mouse.

The Ox and the Frogs
The Ox and the Frogs

The story

Once upon a time, there lived a family of frogs in a pond. There was papa Frog with fat belly and loud croak. Mama Frog had large beautiful eyes. Brother Frog had a very long tongue. There was sister Frog with her long nails.

Also, there were many baby frogs. Grandpa frog always used to read the newspaper. Grandma frog loved to bake. They were a very happy family of frogs.

One day, a large ox came to the pond to drink water. SPLAAAASH he walked straight into the pond and drank water. Papa frog and brother frog had gone to work in the fields. All the other frogs had gone to the shop to buy cakes. Only the baby frogs saw the Ox for the first time.

“Woow. You are so big” said one of the baby frogs to the Ox.

“Hello, baby frog. Yes I am very big” said the ox proudly.

“Who are you” asked the baby frog.

“I am the Ox, strong and powerful. I pull the carts for my friend, the farmer”

“Wow. That huge cart over there”, said the baby frog amazed.

“Yes. I can pull it easily even if 10 men sat in it” said the ox proudly.

“There is no bigger animal than the Ox” said one of the baby frogs.

“Indeed”, said all the baby frogs together.

“You are right!” said the Ox.

In the evening when all the frogs came back home, the baby frogs were very excited.

“What happened here? Why are you all excited?” asked papa frog.

“We saw an Ox. He is the biggest animal in the entire world” said one of the baby frogs.

“Hmm. Big was he? Is he bigger than me?” said Papa frog loudly.

“Yes. He is so much bigger” said the baby frog.

Papa frog pulled in his breath and puffed himself up.

“Is he still bigger than me?” said Papa frog loudly.

“Yes. He is so much bigger” said the baby frog.

Papa frog pulled in his breath even more and puffed himself up.

“Is he still bigger than me?” said Papa frog loudly.

“Yes. He is so much bigger” said the baby frog.

Papa frog pulled in his breath even more with great difficulty. He puffed himself up to his biggest size.

“Is he still bigger than me?” said Papa frog loudly.

“Yes. He is so much bigger” said the baby frog.

Papa frog pulled in his breath one last time. He puffed himself up so much that he exploded.


The moral lesson of the story “The Ox and the Frogs:

The moral of the ox and the frogs story is: Do not attempt the impossible.

“The Frog and the Ox” imparts a powerful moral lesson that remains relevant in our lives today. The story warns against the perils of unchecked ambition and teaches us the importance of being content with who we are. The frog’s futile attempt to grow beyond his natural limits serves as a cautionary tale, reminding us to appreciate our own unique qualities and strengths.

Ambition, when channeled wisely, can be a driving force for personal growth and achievement. However, if it becomes an obsession, blinding us to our own abilities and accomplishments, it can lead to discontentment and self-destruction.


Alternate ending

“The Frog and the Ox” tells the story of a small, ambitious frog that lived in a modest pond. The frog, longing to be bigger and more impressive, gazed upon an ox grazing in a nearby field. Seeing the ox’s imposing size, the frog yearned to be just as grand.

Driven by his desire, the frog puffed himself up, trying to emulate the size of the mighty ox. With each breath, he strained and expanded his body, hoping to become as large as the creature he admired.

However, no matter how hard the frog tried, he could only grow marginally. Disappointed and exhausted, the frog finally gave up, realizing that he could never match the ox’s grandeur. He accepted his own limitations and returned to his pond, content with his original size.


Questions and answers

  1. Who is the biggest in this story?
  2. How many frogs are talking in this story?
  3. Who is boasting in the ox and the frogs?
  4. What is the moral of the story?
  5. Is the ox bigger than the frog?


Themes of the story “The Frog and the OX”

  • Cultivating Self-Acceptance: “The Frog and the Ox” encourages us to embrace self-acceptance and recognize our own worth. Instead of constantly comparing ourselves to others or pursuing unattainable standards, we should focus on nurturing our talents, strengths, and personal growth.

  • Balancing Ambition and Contentment: The story reminds us to strike a balance between ambition and contentment. While it is essential to set goals and strive for success, it is equally important to appreciate and find satisfaction in the present moment, acknowledging the progress we have made so far.

  • Avoiding Unhealthy Comparisons: The tale cautions us against the dangers of comparing ourselves to others. Each individual has their own unique qualities and path in life. By embracing our individuality and recognizing our own value, we can find contentment and fulfillment without succumbing to the allure of comparison.

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