What is the water for?


What is the water for?

Grateful Crane

There lived a lot of frogs in an old pond, in and around which, a lot of reeds and cattails were growing thickly, and over there a row of aspens were trembling by the wind.

The frogs had been croaking all day long.
To tell the truth, they weren’t simply croaking but discussing something with one another.

One frog, which had a professor-like attitude, sitting on a reed’s leaf, was giving a lecture.

“What is the water for?
It is for us to swim in.
What are the insects for?
They are for us to eat.”

“Hear! Hear!”

“That’s right!”

Almost all the frogs in the pond reacted to the eloquent speaker.
Their croaking echoed around the pond.

Just then a snake taking a nap under one of the aspens was awoken by the frogs’ chorus.
Raising its head, sticking out its tongue, the snake watched the frogs on and around the pond, listened to the lecture continuing.

“What is the soil for?
It is for the plants to grow.
So what are the plants for?
They are here to make shadows for us.
Therefore, all the earth is for us, frogs.”

“Hear! Hear!”

“That’s right!”

All the frogs in the ponds agreed with him.

The snake, hearing the frogs’ second chorus, was ready to move.
It started crawling into a thicket, and peeped carefully through the reeds to see what was going on over there.

The frog on the reed’s leaf was still giving a speech to the fellow frogs with its mouth wide open.

“What is the sky for?
It is for the sun to shine.
So what is the sun for?
It makes our backs dry.
Therefore, the entire sky is for us, frogs.
The water, the plants, the insects, the earth, the sky and the sun are all for us, frogs.
No doubt that the universe is for us, frogs.
Now I’ll bring the truth to light and express my deepest gratitude to God, who created the universe.
Thanks, God!”

The frog tried to say it again with its mouth wide open, looking up at the sky, unblinking,

“Thanks, Go…”

Before the frog finished the phrase, the snake’s head reached the frog and swallowed it in a flash.

“Oh, no!”

“Oh my God!”

“How terrible!”

The incident brought chaos to the entire pond.
While all the frogs in and around the pond were in an uproar, the snake hid itself in a thicket of reeds.

A young frog with tears mumbled to himself,

“The water, the plants, the insects, the earth, the sky and the sun are all for us, the frogs.
So what is the snake for?
Does it exist for us?”

An old frog overheard the young one mumble.

“Yes, you are right.
The snake exists for us, the frogs.
Unless it eats us, we, the frogs will breed a lot in this pond, and it makes the pond narrow for us.
So the snake comes to eat some of us.
The eaten frog is the sacrifice for the rest of the frogs to live happily.
So the snake is for us, the frogs.
All the things in the world are for us, the frogs.
Thanks, God!”

Original By Ryunosuke Akutagawa.

The end