The Duchess Digest: Parables and their Parallels

The Frog and the Well

The Frog and the Well

I have a vivid memory of a parable on the wall of one of my high school
classrooms called “The Frog and the Well.” This Hindu Parable is about a
frog who leads a peaceful, content life at the bottom of a well. He was
born there and it’s all he’d ever known. He appreciated his safe life. He
had water, it was cool and shaded, there was plenty to eat and he could
see the stars above at night. Occasionally birds would stop and talk with the frog.
He would invite the birds to come down and join him at the bottom of the
well. They would politely decline, explaining that he should really come out
of the well and see the rest of the world. But the frog was convinced his
comfortable well was the best the world had to offer and he would refuse to

Eventually the birds became too frustrated with his limited perspective and
refusal to open up and they stopped perching at his well. The frog became
lonely and isolated, missing the company and conversation of his bird
friends. Then, after many months a lone yellow finch perched on the edge of
the well and struck up a conversation with the frog. He was overjoyed, but
still stubborn, insisting during their talks that his well was better then
the world outside. The finch liked the frog, and unlike past birds, she
refused to succumb to the frog’s stubborn insistence. She swooped down,
picked up the frog and carried him up to the edge of the well. There she
dropped him, so he could sit at the edge of this whole new world extending
out before him. The frog instantly realized that the birds had been right
all along. There was a world richer, vaster and more exciting then he could
have ever imagined right outside of his safe well. He turned to the finch
saying, “Thank you for sharing your world with me and for making the effort
to expose me to the treasures that were all waiting just outside of my

I love this parable for two reasons.

1) Each of us has been the frog. and

2) Each of us has been the yellow finch.

How many times have we been stuck in our “well”? Whether that’s mentally
stuck in old mindsets or physically stuck, refusing to change our bodies,
relationships or surroundings. Alternatively, how many of us have been the
heroine yellow finch? How many of us have gently and sometimes firmly helped
others to step out of their box and see life in a new light, exposing them
to new opportunities of thought and action. Einstein once said that a
problem can not be solved at the same level of consciousness from which it
was created. So whether you’re the frog or the finch, be vigilant in your
approach to expanding your view of the world and sharing its delights with
others. A raised consciousness both individually and collectively is the
greatest calling of each person today. Mankind is depending on it.

—Jill Brown

Jill Brown is a Los Angeles, California-based life coach and writer. She earned her Bachelors in Humanities and Sociology from USU and is a member of the National Association for Conflict Resolution and the Ladies Who Launch Network. She is the founder of “The Duchess Guide” a website dedicated to helping women become their most fabulous and unique selves. She is an avid outdoor enthusiast, traveler and health nut. When she isn’t writing or working on Duchess, Jill loves spending all her free time with her Labrador – Betty. For more on The Duchess Guide or Jill visit: