First draft of a kiddie’s fairy tale I’ve had kicking around for years… decided to plonk it on here in installments. I think it was originally based on a traditional fairy tale about a prince with a horse’s head, but I could be wrong!
The Frog Prince
Once upon a time, there was a land of rich, green forests and misty mountains, where the sun shone all year round (except at night) and magic really existed. The King and Queen of this land had one son, Jack, who they loved dearly, but who happened to be (after an unfortunate and rather smelly accident with a witch) a frog. One day, the King and Queen decided it was high time Jack settled down and got married, so on the very next market day, the Royal Town Crier stood in the market square, and ringing his bell, he read from an ornate scroll:
‘The King and Queen bid you all good health!’
The crowd, which had gathered rather quickly as the Royal Town Crier didn’t appear very often, cheered.
‘The King and Queen bid you all joy! Happiness! And more good health!’
The crowd cheered again. A small child at the front waved a little flag.
‘The King and Queen,’ continued the Royal Town Crier, in his best and most shoutiest voice, ‘wish to bestow upon you good people’ – another cheer – ‘the splendid news that their son, The Royal Prince Jack, is to be married!’
There was much cheering, and it has to be said that those present with daughters of marriageable age cheered the heartiest, being secretly relieved that they wouldn’t be having a frog for a son-in-law. Even if he was a Prince.
The Royal Town Crier took another huge breath:
‘The King and Queen think fondly of the people of this town, and so request that I take back to them a list of proposed wives for Royal Prince Jack!’ the Royal Town Crier finished joyfully.
There was a confused silence. Feet shuffled. Some put up their hand.
‘Yes?’ asked the Royal Town Crier,
‘You mean he hasn’t found a wife yet?’ asked the ruddy faced baker.
‘Er, no.’ answered the Royal Town Crier.
The crowd murmered and a few people began to surreptitiously edge away.
‘Oh, come on,’ said the Royal Town Crier, ‘he’s a Prince! That means one day whoever he marries will be Queen!’
The crowd was now definitely looking a bit thin on the ground.
‘But he’s a frog!’ shouted a voice from the back. The Royal Town Crier lowered his scroll; he was starting to get upset – it had all been going so well.
‘Well, yeah, ok, he’s a frog,’ he said ‘but he’s still a Prince! Come on, it can’t be that bad!’
There was now only a handful of people left in the square, most of them shuffling their feet and looking uncomfortable.
‘Oh please!’ said the Royal Town Crier, ‘There must be someone! I can’t go back to the palace with nothing! Please? Someone?’ he begged.
There was now just one person left in front of him, a large, beardy man who was chewing his bottom lip and looking thoughtfully at the Royal Town Crier.
‘Sir?’ the Royal Town Crier asked, ‘Do you have any daughters? Would they like to be Queen one day?’ he pleaded.
The beardy man stuffed his hands in his pockets and puffed air out of his cheeks.
‘Waaaaaaaarl,’ he said slowly, ‘I got three, all of marriageable age. To be honest the oldest two are a bit daft, I suppose I could let you have one of them.’ The Royal Town Crier mopped his brow and heaved a sigh of relief.
‘Oh, thank you Sir, thankyouthankyouthankyou!’ he gushed pumping the man’s hand. ‘Now,’ he continued, whipping out a quill and a little bottle of ink, ‘If you’d just be so good as to sign here please…’