This is one of a series of short fable
s by G.E.Lessing
. I have entered it
in the original German
as Die Wasserschlange
. An (approximate!) English
translation is below.
Zeus had given to the Frogs another king;
instead of the peaceable log, a ravenous water-snake.
"If you wish to be our king," cried the frogs, "why
do you devour us?" - "Because," answered the snake, "you have asked for
"I have not asked for you!" exclaimed one of the
frogs, which the snake was already devouring with its eyes. - "No?" said the
water-snake. "So much the worse, I must devour you because you have not
asked for me."