Wednesday, October 10, 2007

A wee parable

Moving on, here’s a trifle I posted a long time ago, in simpler times, on a blog far, far away...

A frog lived in a pond in a lush, ancient woodland. Despite all the usual adversities with which he and his froggy friends had to contend, such as predators and the occasional dry spell, our frog lived a life as nearly idyllic as a frog could live.

Unknown to our frog, a band of quarrelsome hominids had colonised the surrounds and built a sewage treatment plant not far from his pond. Unfortunately the plant regularly discharged a noxious slush into the surrounding ecosystem, and a lot of it found its way into our froggy pond.

Hominids? Sewage? Ecosystem? Toxicity? Plasma TV? These were all concepts to which our froggy friend was contentedly oblivious.

Initially, the only thing that did penetrate his froggy consciousness was a noticeable increase in biomass of the water in the pond. For a while, the enhanced biomass caused a flourishing of life in the froggy pond, and our frog and his froggy friends prospered and multiplied.

If frogs had print media, the headlines might have ran:

Biomass Bonus Continues Unabated!

It was a great time to be a frog!!

Over time, of course, the level of toxicity in the pond increased relentlessly. There was nothing our frog could put his webbed finger on, but sometimes he thought he noticed what seemed to be increasingly erratic behaviour in his froggy friends.

He didn’t realise that he himself was engaging in similarly erratic behaviour. Rather, he just thought his behaviour was normal.

Of course, it had to be normal. He was doing it, and he knew he was normal. He was as oblivious to the incongruity of his random savage outbursts as he was to the concept of toxicosis.

Eventually and inevitably our frog, his froggy friends, and all other life in the pond were extinguished — all except for a permanent algal bloom that held the now frogless pothole in its unyielding grip.


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