This Fable, long out of print, is scheduled to be republished by Penguin Press, and likely will be available in late 2013. Copyright, however, is still in force and copies of all or part of the book cannot be made except for private enjoyment. For any public use, the book may not be photocopied, stored in a retrieval system, published, performed in public, adapted, animated, broadcast, transmitted, recorded, or reproduced in any form or by any means, without the prior permission of the copyright owner, George W. Martin.

The Battle of the Frogs and the Mice,
an Homeric Fable

(NY: Dodd, Mead, 1962; 2nd ed. (unhappily shorn of many illustrations), Great Books Foundation, 1987.)

A short fable about a needless war, brought on by politicians, in which the best on both sides are killed and the worst survive. For all ages, with superb drawings of Frogs and Mice by the actor Fred Gwynne -- the best he ever did, because the richest in detail and cultural overtones. A summary of the fable, with examples of the drawings and text, follows:


King of the FrogsOne day, where the pond meets the shore, an unhappy event occurred. A mouse, relying on the word of a frog to carry him safely over the water, drowned. Out of this incident at the border the politicians on both sides, ignoring voices of reason, created a demand for war. Ultimatums were offered, rejected, and the battle begun.

Puff-jaw, King of the Frogs


Book: Battle of the Frogs and the Mice

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