LATONA AND THE RUSTICS
C. S. B. Adapted from the Greek myth.
THIS is the story of the first frogs.
There was once a beautiful goddess named Latona. Now,
Latona had two little babies, and there was no room
for them in the palace of the gods on Mount Olympus, so
Latona came down to earth, and wandered here and there
to find a place to stay. The babies were very heavy to
carry, and Latona grew tired and parched with thirst.
At last she came to a pond of clear, cool water, in a
field; so she laid her babies in the grass and stooped
down to drink and bathe the dust from her face.
There were some country people working in the field,
gathering willow branches and weaving them into
baskets, and they began telling Latona to go away
 from the pond. At first Latona thought they could not
mean what they said, and the babies cooed and stretched
out their little arms to be taken and played with. But
the country people again told Latona to leave their
pond, and they stepped in the water, stirring up the
mud at the bottom with their feet, so she could not
drink nor bathe. Then they called to Latona: "Come
and drink, come and drink."
Latona was very angry. "You should never leave the
pond, wicked rustics," she cried. She spread her
beautiful hands over them, and the strangest thing
happened! The voices of the country people became
harsh and shrill; their throats were bloated. Their
mouths stretched as far as their ears. Their necks
shrank until they had none at all, and their skin
became green and spotted. They could not raise their
feet, nor walk. They were able only to hop about, and
just the tops of their heads showed above the water.
Latona had turned the selfish country people into
frogs, and you may hear them in the pond, now,
croaking: "Come and drink, come and drink," for that
is all they are able to say.