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Fantasticoe 1997

Frogs Are Beautiful People Too

Melanie Doerpholz

"What's that supposed to be?" questioned Sophie looking oddly at her husband and the thing he held in his arms. "Is that my child dear? Don't tell me that's what I've given birth to? How? Why!? Tell me it isn't so!" finished the mother who was sobbing hysterically at the sight of her newborn.

Alfred tried calmly to reply, but he fumbled at the words. After all, he was just as surprised as his wife, "I think we should consider getting rid of it. I know we've tried so desperately to have a child, but this wasn't what we were trying for. It's... it's.... a she-frog!"

"I know we're both shocked and, normally, I would say that a frog belongs in the pond just over that grassy hill. But she's our daughter, despite the fact, and I don't want to get rid of her. She's beautiful even if she is a frog!" the mother exclaimed. With this justifiable comment the mother realized her initial shock was wearing off and being replaced with motherly instinct. It was unbearable, the thought of taking their new daughter out to the large pond covered by lilies and algae and letting her go to fend for herself. How could a mother and father even think of deserting their child, even if it wasn't the human child they had dreamed of having? Sophie took her child from her husband arms and began to cradle the she-frog in her own.

"You're right dear, we'll give this she-frog the love and affection she deserves so that she grows to be a wonderful person. Or frog, I mean." stated the husband as a joyous smile crossed his face. "What shall we call her?"he asked.

"I think she looks just like a little princess to me so we'll name her Little Miss Frog." replied the mother with a smile as radiant as her husband's.

It wasn't long before their youngster frog had begun to talk like any other child, and she was very intelligent too. She was just like all the other children except that Little Miss Frog was about six inches tall and green. Nevertheless, she behaved better than the other human children because she was very kind-hearted and always willing to help. She inherited her kindness from her mother; who did many kind things to help their neighbors, long before Little Miss Frog was even in the picture. Little Miss Frog and her mother would gather daisies, daffodils, and lilies from their garden, and distribute them to each of her neighbors every day. If ever they needed someone to look after their children, Little Miss frog was eager to do the job. Her mother always used to tell her, "If you're nice to others, they'll be nice in return." Her mother also used to say, "If you smile all day, you'll be happy in every way." Little Miss Frog thought her mother was very smart and kind.

Thinking back on the sweet comments Sophie used to say the little frog became sad, and longed for her mother. She wished more than anything that her mother had not died a few months before. The little frog began to miss the happiness that once surrounded her family that didn't seem complete without her mother. She could remember her father's bright smile that never seemed to shine now that her mother was gone. And Little Miss Frog began to accept her mother's death long before her father ever did. Every evening her father would sit out in Sophie's garden. His shoulders would droop low and his eyes would well with tears as he sat on the wooden bench he had built especially for his wife. He would longingly stare at the marble headstone under which his late wife now laid. Then, every night before going to bed he would tuck Little Miss Frog in, hug her and tell her that he loved her. Little Miss Frog knew this, but she also knew that he needed a wife to love. So she set out to find her father a new wife; he was still a handsome man, and a good catch. He was rather tall with broad shoulders, well-developed arms and a slim waist. His loving frog daughter sent him on many dates with women in their neighborhood. Until he finally found someone he liked enough to marry.

Sarah Thatcher was the lucky woman's name and she had two daughters: Ella and Sissy; with whom Little Miss Frog hoped to become good friends and sisters. Alfred was much happier after he married Sarah, and that was wonderful because he was always smiling again. Yet poor Little Miss Frog was very unhappy because her new sisters were not kind to her in the least, no matter how pleasant she was to them. She wanted them to like her, but they would only make fun of her. They felt she had no beauty in comparison to themselves; she was just an ugly frog.

Little Miss Frog hated their spiteful teasing and asked Sarah if she could speak with the girls about it. Sarah was very kind to the little frog, and did as she requested hoping that her daughters would be a bit nicer to her.

"So, you tattled on us huh?" asked Ella pointing her bony finger at Little Miss Frog. "I knew I was never going to like you. You tattletale! You're just an ugly beast who shouldn't even be able to associate with humans."

"You're green and slimy and you have bumps all over your back!" retorted Sissy, "You're a wretched little beast and I hate you! I don't even know how anyone can stand to look at you. Mother may be nice to you for now, but we'll make her see what a horrible little thing you are!" Sissy finished sticking her nose so high in the air that she would drown if it started raining.

"I just want us to be friends and I know that we can, if you'd just give me half a chance!" replied Little Miss Frog desperately trying not to cry because of their harsh comments. Little Miss Frog tried not to let their teasing bother her because she knew she was prettier than them on the inside. She thought, if only she were kind and delightful to them, even when they weren't nice to her, someday they would be kind back.

One day, the youngest of the King's sons announced that he would be having a hair washing ceremony; he was inviting all young ladies to come and wash their tresses along with him. He would then choose one of the young ladies to be his princess. Little Miss Frog was very excited by the news and set her hopes on being his Princess. The only problem was she was not beautiful in the same way as other human females and she knew that the Prince may not pick her because of this reason. Nevertheless, Little Miss Frog was determined to have the same chance as the rest of the ladies. She quickly went and asked her father to make her something beautiful to wear to the event.

On the morning of the appointed day Little Miss Frog was up bright and early to get herself ready for the ceremony. She bathed herself diligently in the pond using fresh lavender flowers to make herself smell radiantly beautiful. The clean frog then made herself a crown; out of some of these fresh lavender flowers, and slipped into the elegant dress her father had made for her a few days before. It was made of the prettiest Lily pads which were very complimentary to her petite frog figure. Little Miss Frog looked at her reflection in the water and thought, I imagine I look as lovely as any other young lady who'll be at the ceremony.

She then headed on her merry way to see what her stepsisters would be wearing to the delightful event. They were dressed far more elegantly than the dainty frog because their dresses were made of fine red and purple silk. But, Little Miss Frog thought she radiated a better glow than the two stepsisters.

Ella turned sharply around when she saw the reflection of the little beast in her mirror. The ugly beast was wearing a pathetic dress made of lily pads, and it looked as though she intended to go to the hair washing. "You have got to be joking. You really don't think the Prince would pick you..." she blurted out; laughing, " ugly little frog beast. My sister and I are far much, much, much more beautiful!" Ella lashed out in cruelty.

"Yeah, he would never want to marry a little frog beast! Besides, the invitation is to young ladies and not to young frogs" the other daughter Sissy exclaimed.

The two daughters whirled around in laughter and headed for the ceremony without the 'ugly' little frog. When she tried to follow, they told her she could not come. Little Miss Frog begged and pleaded to go with them, but the cruel sisters walked on without her. They continued to laugh at her expense all the way.

Little Miss Frog wasn't going to give up that easily, she knew she was more beautiful than her other two sisters, but on the inside. She knew that she deserved the same chance as any other young woman. She continued to follow a few steps behind her stepsisters as they walked toward the ceremony. When they reached the gates of the great palace the sister's instructed the guards not to let Little Miss Frog in. She watched sadly as the gates were shut behind her sisters and she was left outside; not allowed to enter.

Little Miss Frog almost turned around to go home when she decided to try convince the guards to let her in through the gates where the Prince would soon pick his new bride. She began sweet talking the guards by telling them how wonderfully they did their jobs and that they should be very proud of themselves. She told them how they were very strong and they would make wonderful knights. Little Miss Frog told the guards that if they let her in she would promise to make them knights when she became the Princess. The guards were very charmed by the compliments Little Miss Frog had given them and they let her through the gates. They figured that she wasn't the obvious candidate to be picked by their Gracious Prince but there was a small chance because the Prince was a very nice person.

All of the ladies were gathered in the middle of the vast green lawn that lead to the palace. A beautiful clear blue pond was at the center and the ceremonies were about to begin. Little Miss frog stared around at the lovely palace and she noticed that it was glimmering radiantly. The sun was shining brightly on the ivory walls and it gave them the appearance of gold. The little frog was intrigued and overcome by the majestic beauty of the palace, and the magnificent gardens that surrounded it also. She had not seen such an abundance of lovely flowers since her mothers garden. She hoped to become the Prince's fancy so that she might live with such great beauty surrounding her once again. Little Miss Frog was not a minute too late as she hopped onto a large lily near the middle of the pond. All of the ladies let down their hair to join in the ceremonies as the Prince began washing his own. Nevertheless, he was very occupied eyeing around and looking at all the gorgeous ladies that had come with the hopes of becoming his new Princess also. He spied the dainty little frog washing her golden curls along with the other ladies and he chuckled to himself. He had heard of Little Miss Frog, but had never seen her. He didn't think that she was ugly at all, and he thought that she looked nothing like an ordinary frog. In fact, she looked very pleasing in her dress made of lily pads.

The Prince stood and declared that all of the women were so lovely that he could not decide. So he would have them line up and the one who smelled the loveliest of all would become his new Princess. He asked a guard to blindfold him so that he would only be able to smell their beauty and not see it. He then started down the line of young women. Little Miss Frog realized that she was much too short and the Prince would skip right over her. So, she politely asked one of the guards to lift her up to the height of the other women. He did as she asked and she thanked him for his kindness. The guard could smell the sweet fragrance of lavender as soon he picked Little Miss Frog up from the lily on which she was sitting. He had also seen the Prince looking at Little Miss Frog during the hair washing ceremony, and the expression he wore upon his face was not of disgust. He thought that Little Miss Frog might have a chance because the Prince was blindfolded and she certainly smelled lovely.

The Humble Prince slowly walked down the line of adoring women, trying to catch the prettiest scent with his nose. When he reached Little Miss Frog the gentle fragrance of the lavender enticed him. He knew that this woman was the one for him. She had smelled the sweetest by far. He declared to the crowd, "This maiden here smells of the sweetest lavender. I choose her as my bride." The Prince then pulled the blindfold from his eyes, and stared into the bright golden eyes of his new bride. This was not what he expected; the maiden he had declared as his new bride was the lady frog he had eyed earlier in the pond. He was a bit shocked and overcome! He had no idea how this delicate lady frog could look so lovely in her lily gown and smell so dear of enticing lavender. However, knowing that a Prince must always keep his honor and his word, he graciously picked Little Miss Frog.

"May I have your hand, my dear?" the Prince pleasantly asked. He took Little Miss Frog's hand and lifted her out of the palm of the guard into his own. He then proudly held her up for all the crowd to see and exclaimed, "Little Miss Frog is going to become my new Princess!"

"Hurray, hurray!" the entire crowd shouted. All cheered except Little Miss Frog's two stepsisters. They were pathetically pouting because they were not chosen; their ugly little frog stepsister was.

"What's wrong with him? Why would he pick that ugly beast over me?" cried Sissy with tears streaming down her face.

"How dare he! I am so much more beautiful than that frog beast. He's touching her, that's so disgusting. They deserve one another. He is just as sickening as her!" exclaimed Ella who was so red in the face that you couldn't tell the difference from her skin and an apple.

And, as for Little Miss Frog, she blushed uncontrollably as the crowd cheered for her and joyous tears sprung from her golden eyes. Everyone in the crowd was so happy that Little Miss Frog would one day be their Queen.

The Prince immediately fell in love with the little frog's kindness and inner beauty. And though the Prince had his doubts and curiosities about marrying a frog; he did so anyway. The happy couple were wed a week later near those same astonishing gardens that had captured Little Miss Frog's heart upon first sight. It was a glorious and joyous occasion in which they invited all the kingdom. There was plenty of dancing and feasting afterward and the newly wed couple made a toast together. The Prince raised his glass of cider and said, "To my new bride! Princess Little Miss Frog, you are the most beautiful woman in our kingdom!" His comment made the Princess frog blush brightly.

She then replied, "You are so kind and generous with your toast, my husband. I am the luckiest frog in the world!"

The Prince then gestured his glass of cider into the air again and answered, "It is everything but generous." With this last comment he leaned in toward his wife, and kissed her. Before the entire kingdoms eyes, the Princess frog turned into a young woman. They lived happily ever after.

Acknowledgments: Many wonderfully creative people have helped in accomplishing this final composition. I received many splendid ideas that added to the richness of this story. I feel that this story wouldn't be what it is without those ideas from these people. Thank you to Kevin C. Butzen, Lisa and Laura Holub, Chris Butler, Melissa Bond, Mark Lindemann, Terry Heller, Angela Carter and everyone else who helped me. Thank you very kindly!

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Fantasticoe 1997