Two Frogs ©
Mr. Frog from Osaka thought sixty years was enough to know his city inside out. He lived by a ditch but made it a point to catch up with hustle and bustle of the city.
Daily he walked up to Bay View from where he had the best view of the sea. On his way home he was sure to stop in front of the shop where his grocer always had something fresh and allowed him credit. Grocers like everywhere are proud of their wares. The grocer in Osaka was no exception. Urging him to sample his wares all fresh produce he would proudly announce that they were brought from Kyoto. Later he would call on the Mayor and when asked for news, the Mayor was sure he was neck deep in civic affairs.
Mr. Frog was sure the Mayor ought to do something about it. The Mayor said with a touch of regret that he wished he could take a holiday. It invariably brought him to ask politely, ‘Hon’ble Mayor if you had a chance where you would spend your holidays?’ Mayor was certain, ‘Kyoto, of course! I would like to go around the gardens attached to the palace of the Mikado’ Mr. Frog was impressed. Everyday he heard something or other about Kyoto. ‘Kyoto must be the most famous city,’ he concluded.
One morning he announced, ‘I shall visit Kyoto.’ By evening he was on the road. He hopped along and wondering all the strange sights and sounds that he would sample there. He was excited and was ready to write down all that were totally new and he hoped perhaps on return he might write an account of his adventures in Kyoto.
Meanwhile another frog much younger and eager to experience new sensations was heading from Kyoto. His destination was Osaka. He heard Osaka was a Port where ships touched from all over the world. He heard of the clubs that catered to sailors who had money to spend. ‘Dancing and drinking went on into the wee hours’ he was told.
Seeing one from Osaka Mr. Frog from Kyoto bowed and asked the elder frog where he was heading. Older Frog returned his salutations and said he could not let another day go without sampling the delights available in Kyoto.
‘Delights?’ Mr. Frog from Kyoto croaked.
‘Yes! Kyoto is first on my list of twenty things to do before I die’.
Mr. Frog could not believe. ‘Kyoto I have left behind for it isn’t where I want to end my days.’
The older frog was sure that he was mistaken. The younger frog insisted that he knew what he was talking out. ‘There is nothing in Kyoto that is as good as Osaka.’
The older frog was sure ‘Kyoto has everything Osaka didn’t have’. The younger of the two said Kyoto was a dump compared to Osaka. Thus they argued till they stopped short. ‘This speaks ill of us to argue with words. Let us have facts’ said the frog from Kyoto. The older frog pointed to a hillock and said ‘We shall stand over there and see the landmarks of our own city.’ The frog from Kyoto agreed.
They hopped and they stood at the top. Holding on to each other ‘You see Osaka by the sea?’ asked the elder Frog.
The younger frog similarly said, ‘My hon’able elder do you not see Kyoto?’
Yes they were thankful the sky was clear. The elder frog picked out the landmarks of his city, ‘There, you see Pizza hut. Don’t you? The red roof and the logo is unmistakable in whole Osaka.’ The frog from Kyoto pointed in the direction he came from and said,’ Kyoto also has one.’
The older frog in his turn pointed out to the giant billboard and said, ’There is McDonalds and across the street do you see KFC?’
The frog from Kyoto had to agree that his city also had all these. They bravely went on pointing out various novelties that had sprung up in their cities.
Abruptly they stopped. Looking rather silly the frog from Osaka,’ I am braving my catarrh and sciatica to see in Kyoto, what stares at me in my backyard.’
The frog from Kyoto felt ashamed, ‘Everyday as I go to work I get my eyeballs full of billboards. How I had wished that some typhoon would clear these ugly sores from my path.’
‘Imagine taking all the trouble to get a load of these in Osaka.’
‘Ditto!’ the elder frog said with feeling, ‘I’d rather keep some illusions left.’ Two frogs politely took leave of one another and returned to their own cities.(Reprinted from Elves Bells)