determination, hope, camaraderie, inspiration, never giving upAn army of frogs hopped through a wood, slipping through brambles, shrubs and leaves. Searching for a lake or pond, they moved swiftly. Suddenly two of the frogs fell into a deep pit. Caught off guard, they had tumbled into the dark hole covered over with large leaves and vegetation. The walls were high; too high for the frogs to jump over.

The rest of the group was horrified! They hovered over the edge and looked down to their companions. Anxious and concerned, they could see that the fallen frogs would not be able to save themselves.

“Alas, we cannot do anything and neither can you. You can’t possibly jump high enough. Nothing can be done. You can only prepare yourselves for a peaceful end,” they said.

But the two frogs were unwilling to accept such a terrible fate. They began jumping with all their might. Seeing them do this provoked a chorus of shouts and calls from above.

“What are you doing? This is hopeless, there’s no point trying,” said one frog.

“You should have been more careful. We jumped over the pit, why didn’t you?” berated another.

“Conserve your energy and just try to relax. You may not have very long. It’s best to make the best of it,” advised another.

The frogs in the pit did not agree. They wanted to survive and carried on jumping as high as they could.

However, after several hours of desperate effort, they became weary. Worn out, one of the frogs closed his eyes and listened to the shouts above. Spent and disheartened, he quietly resigned himself to his fate and lay down on the cold earth. The others looked on with helpless grief as he died of exhaustion and heartbreak.

The surviving frog only glanced at the dead frog before he multiplied his efforts. His legs ached with intense pain. He was tired, thirsty and afraid. But he looked up at the open sky and at his fellow frogs and began jumping with every last ounce of energy left in his body.

His frog companions began their protests anew. In desperate resignation, they shouted out, “It’s impossible, stop putting yourself through so much pain, we can’t bear to watch.”

The wearied frog jumped harder and harder, until – wonder of wonders – he managed to leap just a foot above the mouth of the hole. He grabbed the edge and flipped himself over. Stumbling about, he panted furiously in shock and relief.

Amazed, the other frogs celebrated his miraculous freedom. They were so happy. They gathering around him patting and gesturing with enthusiasm. One frog said, “You didn’t stop jumping! We thought it was impossible for you to make it, how did you do it?”

Reading their lips, the astonished frog told them he was deaf. He explained that when he looked up and saw their wild gestures and shouting mouths, he thought they were cheering him on. Their encouragement had inspired him to try harder and to succeed against all odds.