Once upon a time in the deserted lands of Israel, lived a young, bewildered couple, Sarah and Abraham. Since Abraham was of great rankings in the village, it was he who had to deal with any unfortunate happenings. And to his dismay, the entire village was slowly fading away, people were dying, illness was spreading, and hope was beginning to deteriorate at the wake of each new outbreak. Desperate, Abraham decided to set out on a journey across the land to Egypt to obtain the cure to many of these deadly illnesses that looked so rewarding for their people. In this day and age, no cure was certain, it generally consisted of a mixture of herbs to try to help immunity recover, prayers, and hope. Often times, recovering was nothing short of a miracle by the grace of God. Time ticked quickly, as the village people did not have enough immunity to survive many days before their body attacked itself. For this task, he needed his wife to oversee safety and approve his actions and validity of treatment ideas. He was frightened that the king would seize Sarah, due to her intriguing beauty, as the townspeople were awestruck at her glance alone.
Abraham contemplated for days before deciding that he would travel horseback with a carriage toting Sarah across the great land. Even worse for her, she’d sit in a large box to hide her identity. Halfway along the journey, they met a plain white horse, Daisy, with no specific or noteworthy qualities about her. She urged them to follow through with their journey trying to save lives, and promised that they would find success as long as they didn’t give up. With that promise she passed along a small jewel from her saddle.
“When all options are exhausted, pray to God with this Jewel in hand and he will send you the most prized possession known.”
Baffled, Abraham gave great thanks, promised he would do as she said, and continued on the journey. He fought the idea of throwing the jewel out, as he thought it was some sort of joke. Shouting from the hidden box, Sarah urged him to keep the unique jewel. Upon their arrival at the Egyptian gates, the guards questioned Abraham on his “gifts” in the ridiculously large box.
“What brings you to this area?” the guards asked suspiciously.
“I have family dying on your land, and I must attend to them quickly before it’s too late, I brought great ‘mounts of food,” he replied.
Concerned, the guards arose and gathered around the box. “May we take a look?”
“HA, I mean who are we to ask, we can take a look, or you cannot cross through to our land,” the largest guard declared.
“I will pay the greatest price to pass through, long as you do not open the box and contaminate the goods for my family,” Abraham stated, gasping for air.
Just as he finished his sentence, the guards ripped open the box, revealing Sarah in her majestic beauty and all. Shattered, she slowly arose from the box and lowered her head. She tried to explain to the guards their situation.
“We need help. Our village is dying out and we have heard this is the place to find a cure.”
As if they’d just heard the funniest joke of the year, the guards chuckled louder and louder as each second ticked by. The king immediately appeared at the gates, and in great awe stared at Sarah.
“You will allow this gem to pass through to our land under one condition, now quick, close the gate so they have no way out” he scorned.
Eager to complete their journey and get home to the deteriorating village, Abraham tuned in to the king and urged him to discuss his condition. He hoped they simply had to make some fair trades with food and items needed, and they would receive the cure and return back home.
Instead, “The masterpiece I find in this woman will be made mine, and the scrappy man will be forced to abide by my rules for the remainder of his life,” he sternly spoke.
With great fear and no further choice, Abraham and Sarah followed the rules. As they drug Abraham to the hills to attend to drastic chores, they carried Sarah by chariot to the palace. Gasping for air as he plowed the fields by hand, Abraham remembered that one jewel Daisy had given to him. He prayed endlessly exhausting his last breath, and falling to the ground.
Miraculously out of thin air, a humongous frog plopped right beside him, grabbing his hands, and helping him rise to his feet.
“You can call me fairy frog, that’s my name!”
“I’ve been sent to save both you and your wife. You shall come with me, and I shall cure your whole village!”
Amazed and in utter awe, Abraham watched as Sarah then appeared from thin air, and next thing he knew they were both riding in the very carriage they arrived in, carried by the fairy frog back to their homeland. Upon arriving at the village, the dreary image and sickness lurked throughout. Immediately, the fairy frog spoke and healed any and every illness found. The villages image turned drastically from dark to unimaginable brightness! And just like that, the frog disappeared, leaving the couple and the village in disbelief and amazement.
Abraham thought to himself, “God really does work in mysterious ways if one silly little frog can save a village…”
I joined ideas from both The Higgeledy-Piggledy Palace and The Fairy Frog plot lines together, and adjusted tremendously to create this story. The plot of Higgeledy-Piggledy Palace involved both Abraham and Sarah fleeing to Egypt. Abraham was perplexed at how to get Sarah through without the king seizing her. He brought her through with a box, and his attempt failed when the guards found his “secret.” She was sent immediately to the king, and for his safety, pronounced him as her brother, not husband. Abraham prayed in this tough time, as his wife was being made Queen by this questionable King. Sarah fought to get free, causing the king to feel disgusted with her, and contemplating what to do next. They were later freed, because God gave Abraham great powers to infect the king with leprosy, and declare that his wife will not be persecuted ever again, or God would punish the king once again. In The Fairy Frog, Hanina was ordered by his dying father to follow his rules. This meant that his mother and father would die, he would mourn for seven days, then the day before Passover he would go into the market place and buy the first item offered to him. He followed through with his work, and at the market place the first item was a silver casket. Out of this casket jumped a small frog from a smaller casket within. The frog ate tremendous amounts and grew enormous, making Hanina question following through. After the Passover, the frog asked the couple what they needed and followed through with the yearnings. He urged them to follow him into the woods, where he revealed more amazing surprises, including the gift of herbs and roots to cure all diseases. Since he followed the dying’s wish he was rewarded. The frog then shrunk and hopped away. I used ideas from both stories to create a similar struggle for Abraham and Sarah, setting up their arrival into land they did not want to stay, but had no choice at first. I introduced Daisy and the jewel as a replacement for the man giving Hanina the casket. In this case, God granted them the fairy frog to break through and save their lives, as well as the entire village. The overall moral being to keep your word, and great things will happen.
Jewish Fairy Tales and Legends by Gertrude Landa: The Higgeledy-Piggledy Palace & The Fairy Frog
Image 1: Abraham and Sarah: Photo by Wikimedia Commons
Image 2: The Fairy Frog Image: Found in the reading here