By Sean Cruz
Portland, Oregon: I’ve begun work on my memoirs, “Reflections on My Kidnapped Life,” a combination of written and videotaped commentary.
I plan to open with my take on The Parable of the Boiled Frog.
The familiar story posits that a frog plunged into a pan of very hot water will immediately leap out to safety, but if the same frog is placed into a pan of water that is heated slowly, the frog will stay put and eventually be boiled alive.
I see the story played out with three changed circumstances: The first is that the water will never boil; the second is that the frog suffered a mortal wound before it was thrust into the pan; the third is that the wound is invisible to most observers.
In my version, the temperature of the water, even the fact that the frog is in the water, the water itself, is irrelevant to the frog.
The frog understands that the water will not likely get either so cold or so hot as to kill him.
The frog realizes that he has the brains, the strength and the survival skills to endure for a very long time. Whether he is in the water or not makes no difference to the frog.
The frog knows that he is dying of the Wound.
The frog’s friends and observers note that the frog is treading water and that the water temperature is reasonable.
Everyone, after all, has his or her own moments in the water, in the pan, on the stove.
Over the past fourteen years, the frog’s water has been sometimes colder and sometimes warmer. Only the Wound has been constant.
The frog has been in the water for so long, in fact, that observers see the frog always in terms of the water, only in terms of the water.
Sometimes friends cast food, theater tickets or irrelevant though well-meant advice into the water, but the dying frog faces the Wound alone.
This is The Parable of the Wounded Frog.