Not many of you know the origin of the phrase “Frog in the well”. I will not fault you for that. But what I cannot condone is the fact that you go about muddying the reputation of that ribbiting rationalist, of which you know little.
You may not condescend to kiss it; you may despise the sight of the slimy, translucent toad. I have no qualms. “Myopic individuals; people with meager social skills; those who are cooped up in their cubicles” “Aah, here is a frog in the well”, you croak, tarring the name of the good amphibian. There, my dear friends, I draw the line.
And here is why.
Once upon a time there lived a frog king named Mundaka in, well… a well. Like all kind kings who took care of their coteries and sycophants, Mundaka too was despised by a lot of lesser toads who were his subjects. Some brave blubbers even went to the extent of questioning his ways of ruling. Little could Mundaka do to either banish such lowly but large numbered leapers or bring a sword swiftly down to settle the matter once for all.
He bid his time sporting a soul-searing yet affable smile and going about the daily affairs. He needn’t have to wait for long, for good times come to all who work for personal agendas.
One year there was an exceptional drought like situation, where the water table was receding and the green algae depleting. There was pressure everywhere to survive and Mundaka had to do something to not only ensure his own survival but that of his close brood.
Being an exceptional jumper and a great believer in plotting by jumping around, Mundaka in one of his out-of-the-well thinking moments chanced upon a snake in the grass (The same stricken one who reinvented itself after an appraisal. He apparently shed the old skin and became a consultant).
Mundaka: “Hello, friend!”
Snake (hissing from the corner of one side of the forked tongue): “You are my meal.”
Mundaka: “No, I am your meal-ticket. I am a king overseeing an oversized organization. Now tell me what can you do for me?”
Snake (switching to the other): “You came to the right guy. My motto is “FROG – Fruitful Rightsizing of Organization. Guaranteed””
Mundaka: “I want neither undue panic nor inkling of the impending operation”
Snake: “Give me a large enough hole in the wall, in which I can curl up during the day. And leave the rest to me.”
Mundaka: “You are hired.”
Snake took his place in a hole in the wall and went about doing his stuff – few frogs a day, surreptitiously. Nobody noticed any difference as it wasn’t any large scale disappearance. Mundaka meanwhile had a safety plan in place for himself and his hangers on. He heard of consultants who were taken on board for advice but stayed put to takeover the reins. He kept his coterie, sycophants and family members inside the deep-end of the well; where the snake couldn’t reach. It was sure to drown if at all it ever put such a tempting thought to action.
Over a period of few months, the snake did its bit to the utmost satisfaction of Mundaka. The draught situation was also easing off and the feeders – fodder balance was restored. Rightsizing was achieved.
The snake having realized it wasn’t getting any more of its daily calories called out to Mundaka at the other end, requesting a meeting. Mundaka said thanks but no thanks and performed a rain-dance at the deeper end of the well with his hangers on.
Snake weighed both the options. Of over-reaching its mandate by jumping into the far end of the well or crawling back up in search of shallow wells lorded by less cunning kings. The risks and rewards seemed to be far better laid out in the latter case. With things under control and none to raise their voice against him or curse him, Mundaka ruled the well happily ever after!
Now you tell me readers. Wouldn’t you want to be in the inner circle of such resourceful and wily boss, who can guarantee your survival and success even in adverse situations? Or will you still go back to what you have learnt from fools with a bit of moral fiber in them, and continue mouthing the phrase in the same disdainful manner?