"Lilly Pond" by Sandy Jones
"The Child Within Us Lives! A Synthesis of Science, Religion and Metaphysics"
by William Samuel
OLD CROAK AND THE HOUSE OF MIRRORS
A story of discontent and discernment.
Old Croak lived in a mill pond with ten thousand other frogs. Each night he sang in the chorus and their melody could be heard for miles.
Upon reaching manhood, Croak felt a disquiet grow within himself and he decided there was more to life than singing songs from lily pads. “this incessant peeping and croaking is driving me mad,” he said. “What I need is quiet!” Bidding his friends goodbye one night, Croak made a gigantic leap into the darkness of Anywhere But Here.
As it happened, a carnival which had closed for the night was located in the field beside the pond. Croak's mighty leap carried him up and over the pond and through a small opening into the very center of the House of Mirrors. Not knowing where he had landed, Croak sat huddled in the inky darkness of the closed hall of mirrors, awaiting the morning light. Everything was silent and, strangely, Croak missed the chorus that evening.
“Croak,” said Old Croak. His voice was louder than usual and it echoed weirdly. It was more resonant as well—but there was no reply. “That's funny,” said Croak. He was alone in his silence, and for the first time, his disquiet included a sense of loneliness.
The next morning, Croak opened his eyes to find himself in the center of ten thousand frogs. His loneliness disappeared immediately.
“Aha!” he said. “You decided to follow me here. Why didn't you answer me last night when I croaked?”
Ten thousand mouths moved, but no sound came from any of them. Croak was puzzled.
“Why don't you answer me?” he asked. Ten thousand mouths moved, but there was still no answer. Croak frowned.
“What kind of silly game is this?” Ten thousand frogs frowned and moved their mouths, but there was only silence.
“Is this the kind of punishment I get for complaining about singing in the chorus every night?” he asked. Ten thousand mouths moved in silence. Croak stamped the floor in anger ad threw himself into a double backward flip. Ten thousand angry frogs stamped the floor and threw themselves into double backward flips.
“What is this?” the surprised Croak wondered. “I thought I was the only one at the pond who could do a double backward flip,” mumbled the humbled Croak. “They've been holding out on me,” he said, sulking to the floor. Ten thousand frogs mumbled silently. Ten thousand frogs sulked to the floor.
As the days went by, Croak came to several conclusions—almost metaphysical conclusions. “I've gone deaf,” he thought. “Somehow the might leap from the lily pad has damaged my hearing.” Then, more seriously, in the way of a good thinker who thinks a lot, he thought, “I'm being punished by God or the other frogs. They are mocking every move I make.” But after a few more days Croak's metaphysics turned deeper. He decided there was surely greater meaning behind the appearances than he first believed. “Aha,” he croaked, “There is real metaphysical significance here! Definitely. Yes, definitely. In the first place, I notice that no one moves unless I move. That's a hint. If I hop a short distance, they hop a short distance. If I do a mighty backward double flip, they do precisely the same. It seems to me that what is being made plain here is that I am the power of this scene. Yes, yes. I am the power here. Everyone does what I do, yes. Now, there must be another step. Aha! Now I shall teach them to do what I SAY to do!”
“All right, you guys,” said the reinvigorated Croak. “Enough of this togetherness stuff. I want to be alone; therefore, I want all of you to get the hell out of here!”
Ten thousand mouths moved, but that was all.
“O.K. Now,” Croak began again, “all of you idiots pay attention to me. I am your teacher!” He had their attention.”Leave the room!” Croak ordered. Ten thousand mouths moved, but no one left the room.
“Well,” thought Croak, “apparently I must lead the way and show them how to do what I say to do because I want them to do what I want them to do.” He ordered them to leave the room again, and, this time, as he spoke, he jumped behind a piece of brickabrack on the floor. From behind the brickabrack, Croak could see only half the frogs in room. “Good!” he shouted. “Good! Half of you crazy croakers have left the room just as I ordered. All right now, guys, all of you that are out of the room, stay out, and all of you that are still in the room, leave the room like THIS.” As he said this, Croak leaped from behind the brickabrack. Promptly, half the frogs jumped from Croak's view, but the other half jumped back into the room.
“Oh, come on, fellow! Come on, now!” Ten thousand frog mouths moved in insolent silence. “All right. Let's try that again,” said Croak. But wherever he hopped and whatever he did, he could never get all the frogs to leave the room. At one point he leaped into a box and thought for a moment he was alone. Then, looking directly overhead, he saw ten thousand frogs peering down at him from identical boxes.
“Smart asses!” shouted Croak, leaping back into the center of the room, followed by ten thousand mocking frogs.
“I have learned to read lips and you jerks have just called me a smart ass,” he moaned. “Oh, this is too much for me. I must be alone. I simply must get away from here!”
That night Croak sat on the floor sobbing silently. He thought of the old days when darkness was a time for singing and sunshine a time for playing. “In those days I wasn't leading the world of frogs, trying to make them do the things that were pleasing to me,” he thought. “Oh my. The world does everything I do but nothing I tell it to do.”
Then, in anguish he said, “I give up. I surrender. Whatever the Scheme of things in this world, it is too much for me to fathom.” At that moment, through his tears, Croak beheld a shaft of moonlight streaking through a hole in the wall.
Without hesitation and with no thought whatever for the consequence, Croak mustered every ounce of strength he could find and leaped through the hole toward the moonlight above. It was a mighty, mighty leap. A backward, triple somersault, full gainer; double twist with a jackknife that put him over the House of Mirrors onto a lily pad in the middle of the pond. “Hallelujah!” thought the relieved frog.
The moonlight was very bright that night. Croak looked around and not one of the ten thousand frogs was in sight. “At last I am alone!” he rejoiced in delight—to be answered by ten thousand voices celebrating his return.
Croak was sort of glad. “They are saying what they want to say,” he thought. “I'm not alone with myself anymore, or am I?”
Meanwhile, back at the house of mirrors, one mirror asked another, “Have you ever seen ten thousand frogs jump out of a room all at once, like that?”
“Goodness no,” the other mirror answered. “They sure died in a hurry, didn't they?”
“They didn't die,” said the first mirror. “They simply moved on to another plane of consciousness.”
“Plane, schplane. What does that mean? They're dead and gone,” said the corner mirror. “I saw them all leap into the fire at once.”
“They're still alive,” another mirror said. “Hold my hand and I'll contact them.”
“Baloney. I tell you there are ten thousand dead frogs.”
Overhead, the moon, hearing the argument among the mirrors, whispered in moon talk which is understandable only to mirrors, children and whoever sits in the moonlight, “There was no life in the images, my friends; therefore, life cannot leave the images. Isn't that so?”
The mirrors whispered, “Yes. That makes sense, yes, indeed,” But they still didn't know there was only one frog.
On his lily pad in the pond, Old Croak heard the moon, too. He looked into the water beside his lily pad and saw the moon's reflection there. Suddenly he understood who the ten thousand frogs were. More importantly, he began to suspect who he was.
If you would like further guidance in understanding any of William Samuel's work based on Self discover you are welcome to contact me, Sandy Jones - firstname.lastname@example.org - Ojai, California -