Even though they have good reason to be happy and content, the frogs decide that they need a king. They ask Jupiter, the King of all the Gods, for a king, and to keep them quiet he sends down a log. For a while the frogs are in awe of their king, but after a while they change their minds.
Hearing the frogs complaining, and thinking them ungrateful, Jupiter decides to teach them a lesson, and sends down a stork, which starts to eat them. The frogs ask again for help, but have to live with the consequences of their actions.
The Frogs should have been happy. It was summer, they had plenty to eat and nothing much to do except mess about in the cool clear water of their pool. They should have been very happy indeed...but they weren’t.
‘Being a Frog’s a bit boring actually,’ said a Frog.
‘Yeah. It’s just eating and swimming basically,’ said another. ‘What’s the point? Why are we here? Why can’t life be more exciting?’
‘If only we had a leader,’ said a fat Bullfrog. ‘If we had a leader he’d tell us what to do.’
‘That’s right,’ said another Frog. ‘If we had a leader he’d organise...parties and...plays and...picnics and errr...'
‘Of course what we really need...in an ideal world...’ said the Bullfrog, ‘...is a king.’
The Frogs all gasped. A king! Imagine! Their very own king with a crown on his head, giving orders and telling them all what to do.
‘So how do we get a king?’ said the Little Frog.
‘To get a king,’ said the Bullfrog, ‘you need to go to the top.’
The Frogs knew what the Bullfrog meant. The king of all the Gods was called Jupiter. If you needed to go to the top you couldn’t go any higher than Jupiter.
Later that afternoon the Frogs watched as the Bullfrog then climbed up onto a rock and cleared his throat.
‘Excuse me,’ he shouted in his loudest voice. ‘Excuse me...Jupiter...we were wondering if we could have a king? Please!’ said the Bullfrog.
Jupiter was very busy and didn’t want to be bothered but he knew that if he didn’t give those Frogs something they’d keep croaking on and on and on...so he said: ‘Alright! Enough! You want a king? Well have this one!’
Into the pond fell a huge log of wood.
‘Wow!’ said the Little Frog. ‘Look how big our king is!’
‘He’s enormous,’ said the Bullfrog.
All day the Frogs swam around their enormous king and waited for him to speak but the new king didn’t say a word.
‘He’s a bit quiet in’t he?’ said the little Frog. ‘For a king.’
‘Yeah,’ they all agreed. ‘He’s a bit quiet.’
Days went past and the new king never said a word. In fact he didn’t even move and after a while the Frogs stopped thinking of him as a king and started using him as a diving platform and sunbathing area.
‘I don’t think this king is much good to be honest,’ said one of the younger frogs.
‘Yes,’ said somebody else. ‘Tell Jupiter that Frogs deserve a proper king who’ll move about and be powerful and strong and frightening and...’
Now Jupiter was listening to all this and these noisy ungrateful Frogs were making him very angry indeed. He lifted his right hand.
‘You want a frightening king do you Frogs?’ he said. ‘Well try this one for size.’
From out of the sky came a huge white stork, the biggest bird they’d ever seen. The Frogs ran in terror as the stork started gobbling them up in his huge beak.
‘Please, Lord Jupiter,’ said the Bullfrog. ‘Save us. Take away this terrible king.’
‘Do you see now?’ said Jupiter. ‘Better to have no king at all than a cruel one.’
But the Frogs weren’t listening...they’d all disappeared.
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Enjoy our new collection of Beatrix Potter's well-known tales retold by an all-star cast for a young audience.
Get to grips with life’s big questions with our new series ‘Just Think…’
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Commemorate the outbreak of WW1 by staging our specially-written play 'Archie Dobson's War'.
All 13 episodes of Michael Morpurgo's moving WW1 story are available to listen to online.
Notes to support the programmes. For Autumn 2014 onwards Notes are on individual series pages.