Sometimes things are completely different from what they seem at first glance …
We do not know who and when first invented these stories, but they have been retelling for many years – so long that they have become part of the culture of several peoples.
These stunning stories tell of situations in which two different realities collide. One of them is always visible at first glance and therefore seems real to us. The other is … hidden, and therefore no one notices it at once, but this does not make it any less real.
Each of the stories you’ll read now has a meaning. Each of them makes it clear that sometimes things are completely different from what they seem …
Toad and rose
Once upon a time, a beautiful red rose was growing in a huge garden. Everyone who passed by her showered her with many compliments, calling her the most beautiful in the whole garden. Rose was madly in love with all these compliments, but over time she became few of them. She wanted those enjoying her beauty to admire her up close, seeing her in all her splendor. She did not understand why everyone who passed by looked at her only from afar.
One day she noticed that a huge dark toad was sitting next to her. She was very ugly – from the dull, dirty color of bumpy skin to huge dull eyes – so huge that they could scare anyone. Rose realized that no one came close to her precisely because of this ugly animal.
She immediately ordered the toad to leave immediately and never show up again. What did she think of herself? How dare she belittle the beauty of the rose with her ugliness? The toad was very quiet, humble, and obedient. She just sighed heavily and walked away.
Only a few days passed and the rose was attacked by hordes of ants. They began to devour its stem and leaves. The petals began to fly around one by one, and the visitors to the garden passed by a wilted and not so beautiful rose.
Rose wept bitterly for the lost beauty. Hearing them crying, a nimble green lizard ran up to her. She asked the rose what was the matter, and she said that she was annoyed by ants, slowly killing her. And then the lizard explained: “Silly, that ugly toad ate ants day after day, preventing damage to your stem and preserving your beauty.”
The story of the three frogs
Once, a long time ago (and maybe quite recently) there was a company of frogs who loved to go out to have fun in the forest. They loved it there – it was damp and green and always full of food. They ate, drank, and jumped through the forest until nightfall, croaked loudly, and had a wonderful time. It seemed that nothing could ever separate their company … until one unfortunate day.
One day, far from being a fine day, they decided to go to a new forest for the thrill. And just started, as usual, jumping and frolicking, as three of them fell into a deep hole, which none of them had noticed before. The remaining frogs were shocked. They looked carefully over the edge of the pit and saw that it was incredibly deep. “We’ve lost them,” the frogs croaked sadly.
Three fallen frogs tried to scramble out along the walls of the pit, but they were almost vertical and it was very difficult to do this. As soon as one of them managed to rise even a few centimeters up, she immediately fell down and flopped onto her back. The frogs gathered at the top began to lament over how futile all their attempts were, and that it was better for them not to even try. How can you get out of such a deep hole? No, it’s better not to waste your energy and just give up. It just so happened, and nothing can be done about it.
Two of the frogs that fell into the pit, having listened to these lamentations, eventually lowered their paws. They thought the other frogs were right. They just sat at the bottom and croaked sadly, saying goodbye to their lives in advance. The third frog continued to climb up, break free, and fall – over and over again, until, after a couple of hours, she still managed to find enough clues on the walls of the hole to get to the surface.
The frogs who met her upstairs were shocked. One of them asked: “How did you manage it?”, But she didn’t answer … because she was deaf.
The story begins in the beautiful African savannah, where a large and strong lion recently fought off a pride. For several weeks he had been wandering about the savannah in all directions, but could not find his comrades. He was hungry, thirsty, and very scared because he was all alone.
Finally, out of the corner of his eye, he saw a lake flash on the horizon. He, as much as possible, ran to him in huge leaps. He was dying of thirst, he wanted to take at least one sip of life-giving moisture. However, when he almost ran up, he saw the reflection of an adult, strong lion on the water. And our lion decided to run away. “This lake already has an owner, and he is unlikely to want to share his water with me,” he thought.
He stayed nearby all night, not daring to get any closer. He was too weak to give a decent rebuff if something happened. And so, in heavy meditation and useless tossing, the whole night passed and another day, during which the merciless sun continued to scorch the lion’s skin.
The thirst became completely unbearable, and he decided to take a chance. The lion just couldn’t take it anymore. He cautiously approached the pond, and as soon as he approached the shore, he again saw another lion in the water. However, he suffered so much from thirst that he didn’t care anymore. He lowered his mouth into the lake and took the first sip. And at the same moment, another lion disappeared, covered in ripples.
In fact, that terrible lion, which he feared so much, was just his reflection. Such are our fears – as soon as we meet them face to face, they are dispelled, disappearing without a trace.