Francois and the Frogs, Part 2Posted: December 3, 2012
All the noise in the pot is starting to get the attention of the frogs still in the pen. “I thought this was about a warm bath and then good times in the terrarium,” they murmur to each other. “Hey! Pot frogs! What’s going on in there?”
Some recent additions start to shout back warnings, but they are drowned out by the lonely, deluded pot residents. “There has never been a better time to seek entry into the pot,” they cry out. “See our website! We are committed to everyone’s happy future in the terrarium. Yes, it’s not for everyone, but for those with passion there is no better existence.”
Just then, Francois’ boss, the owner, comes in.
“Francois! What’s with all the frogs? No one is ordering them anymore, and those who do order them have more than they can eat! And the terrarium is full!”
Francois looks around. It’s starting to look like that scene from E.T. Some frogs have been in the terrarium so long that they’ve grown long, goaty eyebrows. Some of them are muttering about theories of consciousness, damply fingering book deals. One vows he cannot leave the terrarium as long as there is a frog in the world suffering from red-leg disease.
The owner and Francois look from pen to pot to terrarium several times: a shitload of frogs everywhere, and it is unclear what to do with them. They try to remove some from the terrarium, but they’ve got their little sucker fingers holding on too tightly.
“We need some alternative pathways, Francois,” says the owner.
Francois thinks for a while, then opens the back door of the kitchen. Outside is a busy, multi-lane road. Beyond that, a swiftly flowing stream filled with logs, turtles, and the occasional alligator. But just beyond that, some comfortable looking lily pads! He can see frogs on some of the pads smiling 40-hour-a-week smiles. Not bad! Francois starts taking frogs from the pot (and a few from the pen) and heaving them out the door. Other frogs he puts to work, sending them to the pet store for frog food and other consumable, which they then distribute to the terrarium frogs. Others are put in charge of collecting feedback on Francois’ recipes and having them printed into reports.
“What the hell!” cry the frogs. “The only reason we were willing to get in the pot was to get to the terrarium. We could have left by the door ANY time! And I’m so freaking groggy from the pot, how will I cross the road?”
“No, no,” chide some of the riper frogs. “Time in the pen and the pot is fantastic preparation for crossing the road then leaping from log to log until you reach a lily pad. In fact, it’s great preparation for anything a bright young amphibian might aspire to.”
“No it fucking isn’t. I’m no longer young. I can barely see straight. I would have been much better off crossing the road before being kept in that pen, let alone half-cooked in this pot. And how would you know? You’ve never even left the pot!”
The old frogs blink, then continue, “Let me say this: your choice to cross the road instead of following our path is a totally respectable one. No one will think less of you.” (This last with sidelong glances to each other.) Low, ribbity chuckles come from the terrarium. “Like we said, it’s not for everyone.”