Once upon a time there were two frogs. These frogs were the best of friends, and went nowhere without each other. Well, one day the frogs found themselves in a dairy barn. They were exploring around, hopping here and there, and just checking things out when the cows began to wander back into the barn. Well, the frogs had never seen animals quite that large, and they were in fear for their lives, afraid that the cows would accidentally step on one or both of them.
This is the story of two frogs. One frog was fat and the other skinny. One day, while searching for food, they inadvertently jumped into a vat of milk. They couldn’t get out, as the sides were too slippery, so they were just swimming around. Without thinking or looking, they two of them jumped into a huge vat of milk to get out of the way. They swam around in the vat for a while, and then things with the cows quieted down, so the frogs decided it was time to get out of the vat and head home. So they began to try to leap out of the vat. But it was too deep. They could not reach the bottom to gain any leverage for leaping. And the sides of the vat were too slippery from the milk fat, and they could not gain any traction to push off a side.
One frog looked at the other and said, “Bud, there is no use paddling any longer. We are just going to drown here in this milk. We might just as well save our energy and give up.”
But the other frog was wiser, and said, “Hang on Bud, keep paddling. Someone may come along and get us out.” And the two frogs kept paddling for hours and hours. But no one came into the barn. By then it was dark. And the first frog said, “Bud, it is no use, no one is coming. I’m exhausted. We are doomed. There is no way out.”
And the wiser frog said, “Just keep paddling. Something will happen, just keep trying.” And a few more hours went by. But still nothing.
The first frog said, “Bud, I can’t go on. You know what they call it when you keep doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result? That, my friend is insanity.” And with that the first frog gave up and he drowned in the milk.
But Bud kept paddling. And a few minutes later he felt something solid under his feet. He had churned the milk into butter. Standing on that, he leapt out of the vat.
And the moral of the story? What do you think? Was Bud wiser?
With thanks to Roger Darling (www.rogerdarlington.me.uk) for the heart of the story.