Thursday, 4 February 2016

Missing the Mark: A Fairytale.

Once upon a time there was a beautiful princess who lived a life of leisure wandering the meadows and hills and woods of her father’s kingdom. She was a happy princess, apart from one thing: she was lonely and felt the need of a companion to share her walks and wile away the long winter nights when the world is white with snow and they might watch Jack Frost roasting on an open fire in blissful togetherness.

But she didn’t complain, especially on a day like the day in question when the world was white with May and everybody was going around blowing trumpets. She was walking along a woodland path close to a pool where the fish were plopping and the hares were hopping and none of them ever thought to go shopping, when she saw a frog sitting alone in the shade of an old oak tree.

‘What a handsome frog,’ thought the princess, and without giving the potential consequences a second thought, she bent down and kissed it.

Pouf! went the frog, and turned into a handsome prince with toothpaste-ad teeth that pinged, and ever so shiny hair that waved like the willows in the warm west wind.

‘Congratulations, lady,’ said the prince, smiling fit to charm the bed bugs into the cold light of day.

‘What?’

‘I said “congratulations.” You just won the jackpot.’

‘Shit!’ spat the princess, eyes glaring in disbelief. ‘Why does this always happen to me?’

The prince looked nonplussed, which caused his fringe to slip a full quarter of an inch.

‘Look, buster,’ continued the princess,’ there’s something you need to know. I don’t like princes; I like frogs. So you just wander off into the sunset – it’ll be over in that direction in about twelve hours – and find a cheerleader or something to cheer you up and lead you astray. Try Iowa, it looks good in the movies.’

And so the prince wandered off across the plaintive plains of the Great Midwest (which is actually the Midnorth, but life’s like that) and lived sadly ever after, while the princess continued in her state of fractured happiness, searching for a frog that was just a frog.

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