"Tales from Afar: Old Stories from New Residents" is a project to share traditional stories which have come from away, created by the St. John’s Local Immigration Partnership and the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador. This is one of the tales we’ve collected so far. You can learn more about the project at our Adapting Heritage Forum Oct 25th.
The Frogs in the Bucket
As told by Antje Springmann
I’m going to tell you about a couple of frogs. Now these frogs—it was about three hundred years ago, and these frogs found themselves in the larder of the pasture. And there was a bucket of milk, and they fell into the bucket of milk. And they couldn’t get out, because there was nothing for them to catch their feet on. They couldn’t touch the bottom, so they couldn’t jump back out.
So both of them were swimming and swimming and trying to stay above the surface of the milk. And it was very, very hard work. And one of them said, “What’s the point? We’re going to drown anyway.” So he gave one last gasp, and sank beneath the surface of the milk.
But the other frog would not give up. And he kicked, and he pushed, and no matter how much he was ready to lose hope, he kept kicking and pushing, all night long.
And then in the morning, when the sun started to rise, and it just was creeping over the edge of the pail of milk, he suddenly felt something under his feet. And he realized that from all this kicking, he had churned the milk into butter. And there was a big lump of butter at the bottom, and that’s what he used to push himself out of the bucket. So the moral of the story is that you don’t give up, and that all of your hard work will come to something in the end.
Antje Springmann was born in Peine, Germany. At age two, she moved to Vöhrum, Germany and then emigrated to Canada at age twelve. Her mother was lured by a German book titled “Canada: The Land of Unlimited Possibility." The family first lived in Toronto, moved to Calgary, and ended up in Newfoundland. Image from Inspirational Stories.
How can I share a story?
Stories can be submitted in written form, or participants can sit down with a collector and record a spoken version of their story. To share a story, you can: