Come now, my children. It’s time for a bedtime story.
Grab your blankets and gather by the fire. The wind is cold out on the road alone and its chilled my bones to the marrow. Don’t be shy. Gather near for your innocent faces are the perfect canvas to paint a tale upon.
What kind of story you ask?
Well, the best kind my little ones. The very best kind. A tale about a Prince.
Once, in the great Northern Forest, high among the treetops lived a tree frog.
He was no ordinary tree frog for certain. Brave and kind. Funny and strong. He lived at the highest branches of the highest maple tree doing the tasks that the other tree frogs needed done but were far too afraid to try. He loved the attention they granted him for all his good deeds but more importantly, he just loved helping.
Over the years, the requests became much more constant. Much more insistent. The tree frog tried to keep up with the demands and always did his best but it never seemed to make the others happy. His heart became hard and he began to resent the other tree frogs and he fled to the highest branches to avoid them.
The early summer arrived in the forest and from his perch in the clouds the tree frog spotted something he had never seen before. It may have passed him by a thousand times and yet for some reason only this day did the light hit it right enough for him to see it. There, wandering through the forest, was a Princess. She shined in the blazing sun and her laugh sounded like music. The tree frog tripped over his own limbs as he scampered down the boughs to get closer to her.
” Come play with me, little tree frog,” The Princess called out to him with a wave of her tawny, sun-kissed limbs.
The tree frog’s heart raced as they laughed and danced in the summer sun. His mind reeled as they splashed and giggled in the river. His soul sang as they watched the blue moon rise over the horizon, her fingertips stroking his smooth scalp. The Princess then did the unexpected, she tilted her head up to where the tree frog perched on a low hanging branch and kissed him.
Time stood still and in a flash, the tree frog grew into a magnificent Prince. The Princess laughed in glee and talked for hours about all the things she and the new Prince could do together.
The new Prince flaunted himself and his affection for the Princess in front of the whole kingdom. He was so happy to no longer be a simple tree frog that he didn’t care who laughed and pointed as he capered around his Princess. Her affection was more than he ever dreamed possible and he luxuriated in its warmth.
As they grew closer together, they both knew the day would come that they would have to declare their love in front of everyone. The Prince had grand plans for what would come after. It would be a tough road ahead of them as not everyone agreed with their union but the Prince didn’t care. He would carve a new kingdom with his bare hands if that was what he had to do for the love of his Princess.
As the late summer days gave way to cool fall mornings, the people of the kingdom saw them more often together and it became clear that the day had come. Word spread far and wide as they declared their union. Some cheered, most booed but the Prince could have cared less. His love was that true.
The Prince was summoned to the Princess late one autumn evening and he could tell by the formality of her tone that he dare not waste a moment. He rushed to her side to see her severe expression. Her hands wrung into fists as she tried not to look at the Prince.
” I am very sorry, Prince,” The Princess said coldly ” But we can no longer be together, for you see I already have a Prince who provides me everything I need.”
” My Princess,” The Prince cried, ” I have pledged myself to you. Why have you forsaken me?”
” To be honest, Prince,” She replied ” I am scared that you will not provide me a lifestyle worthy of a Princess for you see I was once a tree frog as well and I will never return to that life.”
As the first tears rolled down the Princes face he realized the truth. That there is a world of difference between magic and an illusion. He reached up to brush away the tears from his eyes and stopped when he felt the cold, wet skin of his frog fingers. He had never been a Prince. He had been a tree frog all along.
What is the moral of our little tale , you ask?
Give your fuckin head a shake. That person you love? They aren’t leaving their spouse for you no matter what you offer. The love of a tree frog isn’t worth a new car or a new kitchen. You’re just a tree frog after all.
So, all tucked in. Ah, much better. No, my children. No sleep for me. The road calls and I have miles to go before I sleep.