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Ping: A Frog in Search of a New Pond    by Stuart Avery Gold order for
by Stuart Avery Gold
Order:  USA  Can
Newmarket, 2005 (2005)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

The delightful tale of the 'transformative journey' of Ping the frog reminded me of Sufist multi-layered teaching tales like Idries Shah's Pleasantries of the Incredible Mulla Nasrudin. You can delve into them again and again, at different stages in life, and uncover new veins of meaning. And anyone who has read the Zentrepeneur's Guides (co-authored by Gold and Ron Rubin) will find many familiar notions in Ping.

The book's cover calls it 'a parable about change, overcoming obstacles, and making a leap of faith'. It begins 'Once upon a place ...', a shrinking pond where dwells 'an incredibly gifted jumper' named Ping. The pond turns into mud, propelling Ping towards change. He chooses to live intentionally, and leaps into the unknown. Luckily, he encounters a mentor, a wise, enigmatic old owl, who reminded me of Yoda when he said to Ping, 'Persistent you are', and of a Buddhist monk with utterances like 'You must find your own way' and 'The unknown is always.'

Though he lightens his fable with humor (as in the description of 'Splat River'), Gold incorporates valuable lessons, and he doesn't minimize the challenges, obstacles, and downright catastrophes that life can throw one's way. He concludes by wishing his readers 'a leaping love-what-you-do, do-what-you-love life.' This little book makes the perfect stocking stuffer for teens to adults on your gift list.

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