The frog and the nightingale is poetic fable with a satire on the human behavior. The poem starts with the frog that sat under a Sumac tree and croaked all night in a loud and unpleasant voice right from dusk to dawn. All the creatures hated his voice. Their complaints, insults and brickbats couldn't stop him from croaking stubbornly. Nothing could shatter his determination.
Then, one night a nightingale came flying and sat on the branch of Sumac tree. She started singing in her melodious voice. They all got completely engrossed in the nightingales’ song and kept on looking at the sumac tree where the nightingale was sitting. Ducks and herons swam towards the Sumac tree to hear the nightingale serenade. Some lonely creature even wept hearing her song.
The entire event left the frog very jealous and he decided to get rid of this new rival, the nightingale. The next night, when the modest bird prepared to sing, the plotting frog interrupted. He posed as a music critic and said that the technique was fine, of course, but it lacked a certain force. The dominating frog told the nightingale she must not boast about her talent. He also said that he could give her training to make her winner else she would always remain a beginner.
The nightingale said the frog that she could not believe her luck. The frog said that she would train her and also charge her nominal fee. That night the nightingale sang melodiously and the frog charged admission fee from all the animals that came to hear the song.
The next morning there was a heavy downpour. Despite the bad weather the frog forced the nightingale to sing though she was unwilling. Probably, the nightingale was not feeling well. The frog and the nightingale sang continuously six hours still she was shivering and her voice had become rough and unclear. Meanwhile, the frog made the nightingale rehearse hard and constantly criticized and abused her, with an intention to break her spirit. The disappointed nightingale sings, burst her veins and dies. The unsympathetic frog dismissed her off - calling her 'stupid'. He summed up the nightingale was too nervous and prone to influence, hence bringing her own downfall. Now, the frog once again sings at night in his bog.
The poet Vikram Seth, very cleverly gives us a message of the importance of self-confidence and moral courage in his poem,” The 'Frog and the Nightingale'