The Princess who kissed the frog
Yesterday we were thinking about the way animals might teach us something eg resilience, trust, forgiveness, remaining observant. Let’s continue this from a slightly different angle.
Many animals have acquired reputations which don’t do them any favours. We can see this through stories and the way our language reflects attitudes. The fox is thought to be sly (eg in the story of the Gingerbread man he promises to take the little guy across a river but then eats him, and in the Aesop fable he manages to get the crow to drop the cheese from his beak by flattering him about his voice), the snake is a devil (as in the Garden of Eden), the wolf is cunning and cruel (as in Little Red Riding Hood or the Three Little Pigs), a shark is a man eater (think Jaws) or cheat (think of what we call a dishonest trader), etc.
I guess some of these reputations are deserved a little bit, but most are not. Snakes may be feared, but they are no more evil than any other creature, and most are harmless. Sharks occasionally nibble a person, but statistically you are more likely to be struck by lightning than attacked by a shark. Wolves CAN be dangerous but, do you know what?, our faithful loving pet dogs are descended from wolves.
What about a frog? What do you associate with a frog? Well, although they are not pretty creatures, they have a quite positive reputation. They are supposed to bring luck and fertility. They are welcomed in gardens as pest controllers. In the famous story of the Princess and the Frog, when the princess kisses the frog (not something she really wanted to do, by the way) she finds she has a handsome Prince! In this story she gives me the message of today’s Blog: Don’t judge a book by its cover. Don’t let stereotypes cloud your judgement. Appearances deceive.
There are lots of scriptural passages which reinforce this message.
15 “ ‘Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favouritism to the great, but judge your neighbour fairly.
Matthew 7: 1-5
1 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.
2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?
4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?
5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.