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Frogs and Scientists

Destinies – August/September 1979

(1979)*

Frank Herbert

 

 

 

 

 

              Two frogs were counting the minnows in a hydroponics trough one morning when a young maiden came down to the water to bathe. "What's that?" one frog (who was called Lavu) asked the other. "That's a human female," said Lapat, for that was the other frog's name.

 

              "What is she doing?" Lavu asked.

 

              "She is taking off her garments," Lapat said.

 

              "What are garments?" Lavu asked.

 

              "An extra skin humans wear to conceal themselves from the gaze of strangers," said Lapat.

 

              "Then why is she taking off her extra skin?" Lavu asked.

 

              "She wants to bathe her primary skin," Lapat said. "See how she piles her garments beside the trough and steps daintily into the water?"

 

              "She is oddly shaped," Lavu said.

 

              "Not for a human female," Lapat said. "All of them are shaped that way."

 

              "What are those two bumps on her front?" Lavu asked.

 

              "I have often pondered that question," Lapat said. "As we both know, function follows form and vice versa. I have seen human males clasp their females in a crushing embrace. It is my observation that the two bumps are a protective cushion."

 

              "Have you noticed," Lavu asked, "that there is a young male human watching her from the concealment of the control station?"

 

              "That is a common occurrence," Lapat said. "I have seen it many times."

 

              "But can you explain it?" Lavu asked.

 

              "Oh, yes. The maiden seeks a mate; that is the real reason she comes here to display her primary skin. The male is a possible mate, but he watches from concealment because if he were to show himself, she would have to scream, and that would prevent the mating."

 

              "How is it you know so many things about humans?" Lavu asked.

 

              "Because I pattern my life after the most admirable of all humans, the scientist."

 

              "What's a scientist?" Lavu asked.

 

              "A scientist is one who observes without interfering. By observation alone all things are made clear to the scientist. Come, let us continue counting the minnows."

 

 

 

The End

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