The Frogs’ New King: A Filipino Folk Tale

Kokak! Kokak! croaked the frogs early one morning.

“What is the reason for all this noise? ” God asked the frogs.

“Kokak! Kokak! Our king is dead. We want a new one. ”

“Very well. Tomorrow, I will proclaim a new king from among you. ”

“Kokak! Kokak! We don’t want a king like us. We want someone different. We want someone who is big and strong. Then all the other creatures in the pond will be afraid of us. ”

God replied ,”Very well. I will see what I can do. ”

The next day, the frogs woke up to see a big carabao swimming in their pond.

“Unggga! Unggga!” said the big, black creature. The frogs were overjoyed. Here was a king who was big and powerful. For sure, one look at those big horns and powerful tail, and all their enemies in the pond will tremble with fear.

At first, the other creatures in the pond were afraid of this big and fearsome king. But pretty soon, they realized that, despite his size, he was as harmless as a fly. In fact, they noticed that he was even helpless against the flies that landed on his face and his body. All he could do was flick his tail at them and moan “Unggga! Unggga !” Big and fearsome king indeed! The frogs soon became the laughingstock of the entire pond.

The frogs were very unhappy with this development. Instead of being feared and respected by the others, they were mocked and laughed at instead because of this big and helpless king.

“Kokak! Kokak!” cried the frogs  the next day.

“What is wrong now?” asked God of the noisy frogs.

“We want a new king! The one you gave us is big and ugly. All he does is swim around all day and cry “Unggga !” Even the flies are not afraid of him! We want a king who looks good but who can also protect us from our enemies. ”

So God said, “Very well. Tomorrow, you are getting a new king.”

The frogs were excited.

The next day, they awoke to see a magnificent creature in the pond. It was a white bird with long, slender legs and an impressive beak. It looked regal indeed. The other creatures in the pond looked at the frogs and their king with envy. Why couldn’t they have a king as elegant and as beautiful as that?

The frogs rejoiced at their new king. Finally, here was one they could be proud of. Not only was it beautiful, it was also fearsome with its long beak and sharp claws.

The frogs were beside themselves with joy. They jumped up and down. They swam to and fro. They croaked to their hearts’ content. “Kokak! Kokak! ”

Pretty soon, the frogs got bolder. They started to clamber up their king’s long legs and up his feathery winged body. Some even dared climb that long, elegant neck. This was a triumphant moment indeed. The frogs croaked away noisily but happily.

All of a sudden, the heron, for such was the new king, reached into the pond and grabbed a fish. Next, it reached again into the pond, catching a frog this time, and swallowed it whole. 

This was not how the frogs imagined it to be. The king was supposed to protect them, not eat them! At this point, the frogs, and everyone else in the pond, realized that if they did not scramble out of the way, they would be next on the menu. All the joyous noise earlier was now replaced by frantic croaking. The heron continued to feast on everything in sight and within reach. The day of rejoicing had turned into a day of sorrow for the frogs.

The next day, the pond was quiet and empty. The frogs had either been eaten up by the heron, or escaped into a nearby pond. Those frogs never did ask God again for another king. 

So if you ever hear frogs croaking non-stop, don’t be surprised. They are just telling their story to anyone who cares to listen. Their story also comes with a warning: Be careful what you wish for: You just might get it!

*All images courtesy of istockphoto, clipart and shutterstock.

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Florence
    Jan 02, 2012 @ 14:56:52

    Em, I didn’t know that there are herons in the Phil ?


    • emmblu
      Jan 02, 2012 @ 17:52:21

      Flo, that’s a good point. I honestly don’t know if we have herons in the Philippines. I am just retelling the story as I remember it from many years ago. Heron or not, though, I always think about this story every time somebody complains about their boss, because the next boss may be worse than the present one, as the frogs soon found out.


  2. dawdasd
    Jul 11, 2015 @ 02:44:07

    whos the writer


    • emmblu
      Jul 11, 2015 @ 04:13:24

      This is a folk tale handed down from generation to generation. I don’t know the original author. However, I rewrote this story based on how I remembered it. My name is Emma.


  3. dawdasd
    Jul 11, 2015 @ 02:45:26

    please reply


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