“The Frog and the Nightingale” is a poignant poem written by Vikram Seth. It tells the story of a nightingale, a gifted singer, and a frog who is an unappreciative critic. The nightingale initially lives in the forest, singing beautifully and captivating all who hear her melodious songs. Read More English Summaries.
The Frog and the Nightingale Summary
The Frog and the Nightingale Summary in English
Once upon a time a frog lived in a place called Bingle Bog. This place was very wet and muddy. The frog used to croak all night from his hole. His voice was very unpleasant. All the birds and beasts of the place hated his singing. But they felt helpless. They could not check him from croacking.
The frog was a thick skinned, and obstinate creature. No amount of public requests or stone-throwing could stop him from expressing his joy through his loud noise. He was expert musician of that area. One night there arrived a sweet bird nightingale. She sang sweetly and created sensation in the area with her melodious notes. In fact, all the creatures admired her melodious notes.
Her song attracted a host of listeners. The water fowls-ducks and herons walked out of the water. Toads, small ducks and fishes also felt the magic of her voice. They broke into loud applause. They called her song heavenly and requested her to sing once more. It was the first time that she had received so much public attention and cheering. So she sang on and on without a break till day break.
Next night, again the nightingale prepared herself for her singing session. She gave a jerk to her head and tail. She closed her eyes puffed out her feather and cleared her throat. Just then she heard a voice. Startled she turned to the frog. He leapt out of the mud and introduced himself as the master of that tree. In self-praise he said that he was a well-known musician and art-critic.
The nightinagale was taken in by his tall claims. She wanted to know his view about her song. He Remarked like a critic that her song-was not very had, but it had some defects also. It was far too long and it did not have force. He admired technique all right. She felt flattered to hear the judgment of a greaty critic who had cared to discuss her art and voice. She said very humbly that she would not claim heavenly sweetness in her song, she could not change it. It was at least unique.
Emboldened by her humility, the frog made some more remarks about her song. He told her that she must not take pride in the fact that her song was original and her won. She needed training, otherwise she would not make any improvement. He was the best tutor and he was ready to give her the training. The nightingale could’t believe for a while that the offer was genuine. She welcomed the offer gratefully and compared him to the German music composer-Mozart who had come-to her in a new form. The frog, however, clarified that he would charge a small fee which won’t hurt her.
The Frog and the Nightingale Summary Class 11
The nightingale, after this discussion with the frog, was filled with full confidence. The appreciation of her art and the public attention made her sing, with great spirit. She became a great star. Animals from far and near rushed to hear her magical music sound. The frog acting as her manager charged admission fee from them.
The weather was wet the following morning. The frog arrived for imparting her training. She submitted that singing in that bad weather would not suit her throat. But the frog overruled her objection. He offered to sing with her. He advised her to put a scarf round her neck for protection against cold. She could not see through his wicked game. The two sang together for six hours, till her voice became very rough and shaky. By evening her sore throat showed a very little improvement.
She was short of sleep and feeling very unwell. Nevertheless she agreed to sing because a large crowd of ducks, owl and others had already assembled around the tree. She could not disappoint her fans. The frog watched the audience with a mixed feeling of joy and envy.
Every night became a musical night. The frog encashed the bird’s popularity. He made money and scolder her still. He told her to practise longer and longer and sing louder until her song grew was strong as his own. He pointed out that she had got nervous in her second song the previous night She should try to sing two musical notes one after the other, quickly because the audience liked it. He told her to give to her audience what they asked for and enjoyed most. It was very necessary for collecting bigger amounts. He hinted in the end that she still owed him six shillings.
The strain of long practice and singing was too much for the delicate bird. She grew sad and pale. The quality of her voice and her song went down. The audience started feeling bored. Many of them stopped coming to her. The earnings fell. But more than the money, it was a shock to her ego. Her ears had become used to hearing clapping, and she could no more enjoy singing alone into the night. Her slackness was resented by the frog. He scolded her and called her stupid.
He urged her to sing more loudly according to public demand. The poor bird trembled to think of her rejection by her fans. She decided to sing with utmost passion and force. As a result, one of her veins burst and she fell dead on the stage.