Some of the frogs in the marsh came to think that they needed someone to lead them. It is true that they already had a parliament of owls, but, although they could all hoot like owls, there remained a fear that some hoots were wiser than others. Some of the frogs thought that more was needed.
For many years a big log had floated almost unnoticed in the marsh. It did not achieve much good, yet it seemed to do no real harm. But the frogs petitioned the parliament of owls for something more substantial – a real leader whom they could look up to.
The parliament asked the frogs if they would like something like the owls, only better. Many of the frogs became convinced that this sounded like a fine idea. They discussed this amongst themselves and thought: ‘Something needs to be done. This is something. So let’s do it.’
This kind of maxim can be very soothing in times of stress. The parliament of owls finally agreed to this in time for the next election, and a suitable stork was to be appointed to look after the frogs, albeit his appointment would take place after said election. He would be known as Commissioner Stork.
Such a stork would be tall and impressive, and not answerable to the owls. It is true that the owls had drawn up his contract and made up the rules by which he was to govern the frogs. But the rules were rather vague, with some of them conflicting with others. In any case, Commissioner Stork had the final say.
Commissioner Stork – whoever he was – would be one who had trained with many other commissioners, and he would very familiar with their ways. They would not meet together to conspire; it was just that their way of thinking had become very fashionable.
Over time, Commissioner Stork would no doubt grow into his job, and he would find it easier if he kept the frogs tame and full of croaky, if somewhat indistinct, slogans. They would croak their thanks to him and to the owls for granting them their freedoms. All that Commissioner Stork declared to be allowable would be regarded as Law. The frogs would soon come to associate the log with the Dark Ages of the decade before last. There would be no discrimination against anyone, and all would live on the right side of history.
– Peter Barnes