I got restless living in my ditch near the town of Osaka on the seacoast. I decided I wanted to visit Kyoto where the great Mikado had his palace. So one fine morning I set off. The journey was more tiring than I expected. I had gone halfway to the city when I arrived at a mountain. It took a great many hops to climb, but when I finally got to the top, who should I meet but another frog just like me!

Honestly, I thought I was meeting myself.

Turns out, he was coming from Kyoto and he wanted to see Osaka. Well, what a coincidence! We stretched ourselves out in a cool, damp place and had a good conversation. After we had rested and we were about to part ways, I said, “If only we could make ourselves bigger, we could see both towns from here. We could see if it is worth going on.”

“That’s easily managed,” said my friend from Kyoto. He suggested we hold onto one another and stand up on our hind legs. Then we could see the town that we were travelling to.

When we looked, though, we forgot that frogs’ eyes point backwards when we stand on our hind legs. I looked and saw a town that looked just like Osaka and he looked and saw a town that looked just like Kyoto. We both agreed that it wasn’t worth the effort so we hopped back to our homes.

Now I’m in the ditch again. And I’m thinking that I’m an idiot. I shouldn’t have looked to see if it was worth going forward because all I did was look back. And I don’t have it in me to travel that distance again!

Frog from Osaka in The Two Frogs, Violet Fairy Book.