Once upon a time, in the days when the world was young and all animals understood each other’s languages, an old tiger named Tsuden went out hunting for some food. As he was creeping quietly along the banks of a stream a frog saw him and was badly scared. He thought, “This tiger is coming to eat me up.” The frog knew the only way he could stay alive was if he was clever.
He climbed up on a little bunch of sod, and when the tiger came near, called out, “Hello, where are you going?”
The tiger answered, “I am going up into the forest to hunt something to eat. I haven’t had any food for two or three days, and I am very weak and hungry. I guess I’ll eat you up. You’re awfully small, but I can’t find anything else. Who are you, anyway?”
The frog replied, swelling up as big as he could, “I am the king of frogs. I can jump any distance and can do anything. Here’s a river. Let’s see who can jump across.”
“All right,” answered the tiger. As the tiger crouched down to jump, the frog slipped up and got hold of the end of his tail with his mouth. When the tiger jumped, his tail threw the frog across the river and high up onto the bank. After Tsuden got across, he turned around and looked and looked into the river for the frog. The frog called from high up the bank, “What are you looking for, old tiger, down there?”
The tiger whirled quickly, very much surprised to see the frog way up the bank.
“Now I beat you in that test, let’s try another,” said the frog. “Suppose we both vomit.”
The tiger being terribly hungry could only throw up a little water, but the frog spit up some tiger hair.
The tiger, much astonished, asked, “How do you happen to be able to do that?”
The frog replied, “Oh, yesterday I killed a tiger and ate him, and these are just a few of the hairs that aren’t yet digested.”
The tiger began to think to himself, “He must be very strong. Yesterday he killed and ate a tiger, and now he has jumped farther than I did over the river. Guess I’d better slip away before he eats me.” Then he sidled away a little, quickly turned, and began to run away as fast as he could, up the mountain.
He met a fox coming down who asked. “What’s the matter? Why are you running away so fast?”
“Say,” the old tiger said, “I met the king of all the frogs, who is very strong. Why, he has been eating tigers, and he jumped across the river and landed farther up the bank than I did.”
The fox laughed at him and said, “Why are you running away from that little frog? He is nothing at all.”