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The Princess and the Frog - Part Two

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posted on Jan, 25 2009 @ 01:46 PM
Rodney was a frog who had once been a prince.

He hadn't always been just a frog or just a prince, he was an exceptionally ugly little frog and had been an exceptionally arrogant prince. His arrogance was the reason the Good Fairy had changed him into a frog in the first place.

It was as a frog that he had met and entranced his beautiful princess, and it was as a prince that he had lost her. The Good Fairy turned him into a frog in the second place because that was the only way he could keep his beloved.

Now he lived in an aquarium in the princess's bedroom, the room she shared with his brother whom she had recently married. Rodney spent his time watching her as she danced and sang and brushed her hair, oblivious to his feelings.

She had thought she was being kind in letting him live with her away from the harsh outside world where he had fared so badly, but now he was left with nothing to do but watch her, and want her, and brood.

At first she had been attentive to her little frog, but as the days passed she found less and less time for him. The task of feeding him had been delegated to the servants. They had been warned to treat him with great courtesy, but it was no pleasant business feeding a frog and sometimes they grumbled.

As a prince Rodney had been used to being waited on hand and foot and knew how to make his displeasure felt. Eventually he became so obnoxious to his attendants that they took great care to feed him properly and quickly, but took even greater care to leave him to his own devices afterwards.

And all he had to do was think. Rodney thought a lot. If only, if only.... If only he hadn't been so unkind when the princess met him in his human guise. If only he'd told her how he felt instead of alienating her by letting her see him taking revenge on the pondful of frogs who had treated him badly.

If only he had been a nicer human being and could have won her heart by being himself.

If only there were some way to live without her.

If only he didn't have to watch her being so happy with his brother. She was always laughing and Rodney knew that his brother was the cause of most of that laughter. He knew that he could never have made her so happy himself. The pain of that thought nearly broke his heart.

If only she'd pay more attention to him. She thought that being safe and well fed would make him happy. She never realised how much her attention meant to him.
Sometimes she would pick him p and tease him about his fat little tummy, then kiss him gently.

Rodney lived for those kisses. Sitting in her soft, strong hand, with her lips pressed against his head he felt as if he was in Paradise.

But the kisses became less and less frequent. At night Rodney would sit watching her prepare for bed and would anticipate his kiss. But on more and more occasions it never came.

She would drop into bed with his brother, thoughts of Rodney very far from her mind.

Some nights Rodney would stay awake thinking about what he had missed and looking forward to the morning when she might give him his early kiss. some mornings she forgot that too, and Rodney would cry himself to sleep for the day.

His life became one long round of anticipation and disappointment. But when she did remember him his heart leapt in joy and he would spend his day or night basking in the memory.

eventually, all these emotions became too much of a strain for Rodney and he started to feign indifference. He stopped gloating and preening when the princess kissed him, so she couldn't help but notice how cold he was.

He pretended for all he was worth that he didn't care if she came near him or not. He would rather get used to the misery of missing her because the joy of her touch had become so utterly intense he couldn't bear the reality after she had gone.

He pondered over what he had become because of love. Without it he had been a prince with a kingdom to inherit. With it he was a frog, lonely and unfulfilled.

If he was honest, Rodney would realise that he was always lonely and unfulfilled. The promise of a kingdom hadn't alleviated his emptiness, but the promise of love had seemed a better bet. In his heart Rodney had wanted love more than anything else in the world. He'd had to become a frog to realise that.

Now he was a frog and had love, but only sporadic attention from his beloved. There had never been any way for them to be truly together. His heart breaking a little more each day, Rodney wondered if he had made the right choice.

He would remember all the princesses his father had lined up for him to choose from. None of them had been good enough. Perhaps he should have been less arrogant and given on of them a fairer chance? Rodney thought about that and started to watch his princess more closely, he tried to find fault with her, but he couldn't.

She was perfect and she was his, but in the only way she could be. Rodney tried to keep hold of the idea that she loved him. He tried to be grateful. He tried to love her in an unselfish way. He tried not to want her. He tried to recover his former arrogance. Then he gave up and wept for her. Wept because she would never be his in the way he wanted her. Wept because he would never be worthy of her. Wept because.... he wept.

Living in her far-away kingdom, just out of reach of the mortal world, the Good Fairy kept her eye on Rodney. As once before she just couldn't stand his arrogance, she now couldn't bear his misery.

She started to see the arrogant mask for what it was. The outward sign of a lonely and unhappy man. She remembered him begging to be turned back into a frog in order to keep the affections of his princess.

Indeed, he had only deserved them as a frog. Out of pity, the Good Fairy visited the princess in a dream and gave her the idea of building a pond for Rodney in the back garden.

So it was that Rodney was awoken by his smiling princess after a particularly black and unhappy night, with what she called good news.

As she carried him nestled against her breast, down the steps of the castle and into the garden, Rodney felt his heart beating. For a long time now he had only felt it as a near-dead thing, almost stagnant in his body, just there to pump his blood.

Now it skipped and came alive. Rodney wanted to stop it, he knew how he would feel later, when she left him. He tried to be cold but found himself croaking in delight.

The princess looked down at him 'You must have been so unhappy' she said 'And I didn't know. Of course you want to be out in the sunshine. How much better you look now we are going out'. How could he tell her? He was happy because she made him happy.

He'd been in hell and managed to find some moments of happiness because of her. Moments so wonderful he'd had to deny them, he hadn't been strong enough to endure them.

He'd even stopped remembering the good times they'd had together because the memories hurt him so much. He'd wrecked their other times together because he had been trying to steel his heart against the feelings of love and loss.

Rodney, to his great horror, started to sob. The princess noticed and being kind-hearted, and feeling sorry for her selfishness in detaining him, kissed him on his little warty cheek. In doing so she swallowed one of Rodney's tears. It was to become part of her forever. A tear shed in love by a frog. the most precious thing she would ever encounter.

Rodney tried to adjust to his new life in the pond. It had been carefully stocked with fish and newts, but no frogs. The princess had noticed how he had been made an outcast by the frogs in his old pond.

He sat on a lily pad catching flies and looking at his reflection in the water. Before, he'd had the princess to watch. Now there was just himself, and he was no joy to look at.

What was worse? Seeing her every day and missing her, or not seeing her every day and missing her?

He tried to forget her, but he couldn't. She did come to see him, making a point of spending her free lunch-times with him. For her sake he tried to look happy. For his sake, she loved him and held him and kissed him goodbye.

Rodney's broken heart, the one that had almost skipped back to life, finally gave up altogether. Seeing himself for a fool Rodney sank into black despair. Seeing him in black despair the Good Fairy cursed herself for a fool.

Well, she had already given into his whims once and let him become a frog. What could she do but offer to help him once again and see if he could wish more wisely this time?

The Good Fairy dropped down to see Rodney one afternoon when he was despondent and desperate. Well, he always felt like that, but this particular afternoon seemed worse than all the others put together. They always seemed like that.

Rodney looked up at the Good Fairy and instead of greeting her with his usual sneer he sighed and confessed to being unhappy. 'But don't blame yourself' he said 'I know it's all my own fault. i had a wish and i wished for love'.

The Good Fairy's kind heart melted for him, and she offered him another wish. Something to alleviate his suffering, she suggested. Rodney perked up momentarily as he thought of all the things he could wish for.

More flies, perhaps? Gentle frogs for company? A bigger pond? Seeing how pathetic he had become he didn't know whether to laugh or cry. He'd never had much of a sense of humour, but he tried not to cry.

The Good Fairy saw the thoughts and emotions flitting across his face, so she cried for him.

An idea occurred to Rodney, one he hardly dared to entertain. But he couldn't help himself. 'Suppose' he said 'just suppose you could turn my princess into a frog? She could come here and live with me and we could be happy'.

The Good Fairy looked aghast, and Rodney knew the thought was quite as shameful as he had supposed. 'But what else' he asked 'would make me happy?'

'Make you happy!' exclaimed the Good Fairy 'Why do people always think the purpose of a wish is to make them happy? Don't they realise that happiness isn't forever? And look at the contrast between happiness and the normal state of mind. People become unbalanced when they lose happiness. It takes them so long to regain their equilibrium that the consequence of being happy is an almost permanent state of depression'.

Rodney looked so sorry that the Good Fairy decided to forgive him for his lapse. After all, he had been very miserable and it was understandable that given the opportunity to improve his lot he should have been selfish.

And he hadn't made the wish outright, he had only suggested it. Even so, the Good Fairy knew she had just had a lucky escape. If he had started by saying 'I wish' there would be two frogs sitting in the pond now.

'I will come back tomorrow' said the Good Fairy 'and you can tell me what you have decided to wish for. This is an important wish, and I wouldn't deny you time to think about it'.

Rodney thought. He thought for the full twenty-four hours that the Good Fairy had given him. He didn't eat and he didn't sleep. At last he made his decision, then sat patiently waiting for his benefactor.

The Good Fairy noticed something different about Rodney when she arrived. He looked straighter somehow, and resolved. She felt no trepidation about asking him to state his desire. With great dignity Rodney told her that he had no wish to make.

He had accepted his lot as a frog and wouldn't ask for the princess to share his life in that way. He wanted her to stay happy with his brother. He wanted to enjoy her as she was, beautiful and free. He couldn't ask for her to be confined to life with him as a frog, however much he wanted her.

The Good Fairy looked at Rodney and saw that he had found his nobility. Something no wish of hers could have granted. She blessed him and laughed at his wry little joke about having to become a frog in order to gain his humanity.

She departed to her fairy realms knowing that somehow she had managed to do some good. It may have been accidental, but worthwhile for all that.

Rodney spent the rest of his life as a frog. He lost some of his warts and his back became straighter. His new strength shone through, and his princess loved him more than ever. He had managed to make the best of himself, and that was better than anyone could ever have imagined it would be.

Somewhere, there was a Higher Power than the Good Fairy. It had indulged her in her efforts, and although things had looked dodgy at first, the eventual outcome was very pleasing.

In his next life Rodney would be a compassionate and powerful human being.

Seeing that he had learned his life's greatest lesson. the Higher Power took pity on Rodney.

A month or two after he made his fateful decision to give up his princess, the little frog fell foul of the gardener's dog. Maybe he could have hopped faster, or been more alert to the danger. Maybe he just gave up or maybe he was deliberately distracted, but Rodney found himself caught.

It occurred to him to give the dog indigestion, but he decided that was unworthy. He would be a good, unstruggling meal and his heart wasn't so leaden now. thinking of his heart reminded him of his princess and his last thoughts were of her.

[edit on 25-1-2009 by berenike]

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