On a quiet, uneventful, unremarkable day, it can be a welcome relief to receive something society doesn’t send much anymore… mail:
Even if it is for your bookend frog, and not you, you can’t help taking a mighty interest in this little envelope.
And lo and behold! Guess what was inside?
A solemn event of prestige, ceremony, sobriety… a celebration of knowledge… a recognition of the philosopher frog’s unique position in the world of academics… it’s
THE ANNUAL PHILOSOPHER FROG TEA!!!
As there are very few philosopher frogs in the local vicinity (two, in fact) only a couple of invitations are sent out every year. ‘Many aspire, few attain.’ The Trail of Lights Blog is very lucky to have both these esteemed gentlemen, Joseph Conrad, and Franz Kafka, on the blog administration and writing faculty.
And so, I escorted my two colleagues to the scholarly amphibian’s event of the year:
Every Annual Philosopher Frog Tea opens with the recitation of the Philosopher Frog motto. Unfortunately, the motto is top secret, known only by the members of the Philosopher Frog Guild, so we’ll just have to imagine what it is like. The Tea precedes in utmost solemnity, as a member of the Guild, (this year Mr. Conrad) is chosen to read ‘The Raven’ by Edgar Allan Poe aloud from ‘A Treasury of Poems’, compiled by Sarah Anne Stuart.
Once ‘The Raven is concluded, the festivities begin! The frogs begin to mingle, and partake of the ‘light refreshments’ referred to in the invitation. Tea is steeped, and both conversations and metabolisms flow.
Often, one of the frogs is asked to read aloud from some quality literature. This year, as the gentlefrogs have a fondness for poetry, the chosen reading was from Lord Tennyson’s ‘The Princess’.
The Tea is an opportunity for the frogs to express their love of philosophy, meet the other professionals in their field, greet new members of the Guild, and indulge in a philosopher frog’s secret passion for strawberries.
The frogs discuss the best teas to be had in the local market, their latest treatises on happiness and butter and can one exist without the other? and their favorite page-turners such as Plato’s Republic, and Virgil’s Aenid.
All over a steaming cup of tea. No self respecting philosopher drinks coffee.
Unfortunately, as the party winds down, the frogs, excited by the caffeinated tea and strawberry sugars flowing in their veins, begin to debate who was the best philosopher of all time. The argument rose to a heated climax, and ended in a spirited food fight. The frogs, each one true to his own beliefs, fought bravely, and stood their ground.
But though it ended in a wild climax of idealism and stubbornness, each frog left on good terms and in cheerful spirits. After all, it’s good for a philosopher frog to get all his moodiness and angst out in a constructive environment. And that is what the Annual Philosopher Frog Tea is all about!