Traditional Tales for young & old
The Frog and the Snail
A Short Tale from Holland
Retold by Brigitte Franssen
Illustrated by Jef Franssen
A frog went out one beautiful summer's day, and on the road he met a snail. Seeing the frog, the snail called out loudly and friendly: "Good afternoon, frog!" "Good afternoon snail," said the frog. Looking at her slowly crawling along he started to make fun of her and he boasted about his own speed. But the snail replied, laughing: "You can be as the wind, still I will be in the kingdom of Heerlijkheden before you. The frog, believing this to be simply impossible, proposed a race. "You are on!" said the snail and set forth immediately. A little slowly to be sure, for she was carrying her house with her on her back, as was her custom. The frog hopped a few hops forward and then turned around to the snail and said: "Don't crawl along so. Instead hop like I do." And away he hopped. However, arriving at the kingdom he found the gates closed and he had to wait till the gates would be opened.
In the meantime, the snail crawled steadily onward and she too finally arrived at the kingdom of Heerlijkheden. Of course, she also found the gates closed but for her that was no obstacle. She simply crawled over it and thus won the race.
Indeed, there are those who are first who will be last and there are those who are last who will be first.
~ The End ~
The Frog and the Snail, translated by D.L. Ashliman, 2002.
The Bible, Lucas 13:22-30.
You cannot find the kingdom of Heerlijkheden on a map. But it does exist and you can get there. Maybe the hidden message of this tale will get you on your way and a Dutch dictionary might help you further.
© Brigitte Franssen 2012