Two very short stories that illustrate internal vs. external locus of control, or Are you and Inny or an Outy?
Two frogs decided to go on a journey and see something of the world. Eventually they came to a farmyard, and while they were hopping across it, the farmer happened to set down a pail of new cream in their path. As they were both in mid-leap, they could not help but splash down into the bucket.
“Oh, help!” cried the first one, flapping at the slippery inside of the pail. “Oh, help, we can’t reach the top! What shall we do!? We shall surely die!”
The second one was busy kicking, although with nothing to push against but cream he could not leap up and out. He kept trying, however, while his partner wailed and moaned and flapped at the high smooth walls.
“We’ll never make it out of here,” moaned the first frog, and in despair, sank to the bottom of the bucket and drowned.
But the second frog didn’t stop kicking, kicking, kicking, and before long he had churned that cream into butter. Soon enough it was so hard that he could jump out of the pail and hop back to his pond.
Two old frogs were on their way to the swamp on the other side of the forest, when they fell into a very deep hole. A large group of tree toads happened to witness the accident, and they all gathered around the rim of the hole. “Oh dear, they’ll never get out,” one of them said. “It’s just way too high to jump,” and they began to repeat that over and over, as tree toads do. “They’ll never get out. They’ll never get out.”
Down in the hole, one of the frogs heard that and despaired, but the other frog kept jumping, and falling back, and jumping, and falling back, and jumping until finally he managed to grab the rim of the hole and scramble out.
“Wow, that was amazing,” the tree toads trilled as the frog began hopping away.
“Eh?” he said, looking around. “Whatcha say?”
“That was amazing!” the tree toads chorused again.
The frog shrugged. “Sorry, can’t hear you. I’m hard o’hearing.” And away he hopped.