by Kaare Askildt
Formerly known as The Farmer in Training
Once upon a time a King named Giggleburst lived in a castle far, far away in the Enchanted Forest with his Queen Snickersnort and their son Prince Howlgrin.
King Giggleburst was a kind and affable man, who together with his Queen Snickersnort, ruled his kingdom of Cheerjoy where everybody was happy. Prince Howlgrin had grown up to be a handsome specimen of the human race, and was a very eligible bachelor in search of a mate. He was the sole heir to the Kingdom of Cheerjoy.
The Kingdom of Cheerjoy was ranked as number one in Forbes Fortune 100 Magazine, as the wealthiest and most productive kingdom. The wealth was amassed from a couple of diamond mines and oil exploration in the North Sea.
One day while Prince Howlgrin was walking through the forest, he came upon a lily pond, and there on a lily pad sat a large frog. The frog looked very inviting to Prince Howlgrin and he walked to the water’s edge to get a closer look. While standing there Prince Howlgrin wondered out loud how deep the pond was.
“Kneedeep!” croaked the frog. Prince Howlgrin was astounded and looked straight at the frog and said: “Was that you saying that? Can you tell me again how deep this pond is?”
“Kneedeep!” said the frog again. “Wow!” said Prince Howlgrin, “A talking frog!” Then Prince Howlgrin rolled up his pant legs, waded through the water and picked up the frog from the lily pad. He brought the frog back with him and sat down on a rock. The handsome Prince Howlgrin looked at the frog and tried to put the frog in his coat pocket, but the pocket was too small.
“Rippit!” croaked the frog. “What did you say?” asked Prince Howlgrin as he was struggling to put the frog in his pocket. “Rippit!” said the frog again. Good idea thought Prince Howlgrin as he tore at the pocket to make room for the frog.
Just then the frog flipped around in Prince Howlgrin’s hand, showing Prince Howlgrin a big fat belly. The frog looked Prince Howlgrin square in the eyes and said: “Rubbit!”
“What did you say?” asked Prince Howlgrin. The frog bloated up its stomach and again said: “Rubbit!” So Prince Howlgrin did, and as he was rubbing the stomach, the frog said: “The wicked witch of the Boreal Forest saw me walking along a wonderful scenic footpath, and when I got tired and sat down for a rest, she confronted me and told me that she was envious of my long golden hair and put a spell on me. I’m really a Princess and I really have long golden hair, and if you kiss me three times you will break the spell, and I’ll be yours for the rest of your life. Each kiss must last at least one full minute, but you can’t wash me or clean me, you have to kiss me the way I am, with slime and all.”
Prince Howlgrin looked at the frog, grimaced and said: “Frogetit! I’m not doing it!” Prince Howlgrin was sitting on a rock and put the frog next to him. The frog just sat there and snatched flies as they were buzzing by.
“If you can talk, then you probably can read as well,” said Prince Howlgrin and handed the frog a romance novel. The frog looked at the title and said: “Readit!” Prince Howlgrin was totally amazed.
Prince Howlgrin sat and pondered the spell made by the wicked witch of the Boreal Forest, and the frog’s kissing request to break the evil spell. He came to the conclusion that maybe it was true that the frog would turn into a princess, and he should give it a try.
Prince Howlgrin then gently lifted the frog up to his face, and gave the frog a long one-minute kiss. “Goodun!” croaked the frog when he pulled it away. “Ugh, Yuck! Phooey!” said Prince Howlgrin, “That was really gross, it better be worth it!”
There was no slime left on the frog, and Prince Howlgrin wiped his lips as best he could while preparing to kiss the frog again. The frog had produced more slime and was ready for Prince Howlgrin’s next kiss.
Prince Howlgrin closed his eyes and kissed the frog for the required full minute. Prince Howlgrin pulled the frog away and grimaced, then quickly brought the frog back for the final one-minute kiss to break the evil spell.
Lo and behold – “poof” – and the frog turned into a beautiful Princess with long hair that shone like gold in the sunshine. Prince Howlgrin fell head over heels in love with her!
The Princess told Prince Howlgrin that she was from the neighbouring kingdom of Magnifistun and told him that her name was Princess Cutiefox. Her dad the king is called Marvelful and the queen, her mother, is named Beauteous. Prince Howlgrin knew Forbes Fortune 100 Magazine listed the Kingdom of Magnifistun as a number two, right behind the Kingdom of Cheerjoy. The Kingdom of Magnifistun derived its large fortune from the many gold mines and the exportation of natural gas.
Prince Howlgrin walked Princess Cutiefox home and while kneeling in front of King Marvelful and Queen Beauteous, Prince Howlgrin respectfully asked for the Princess Cutiefox’s hand in marriage. King Marvelful and Queen Beateous were very happy to have Prince Howlgrin break the evil spell and bring their daughter Princess Cutiefox back, and immediately gave their consent for the union to take place. Queen Beauteous made all the arrangements for a fitting royal wedding!
They were betrothed to each other and the wedding was a splendid affair! All the inhabitants in both kingdoms were invited. The wedding festivities lasted for three days. They feasted on the finest of foods and drank exquisite libations that kept everyone in good humour. A talking duck waddled in and crashed the wedding, looked at the bride Princess Cutiefox and said: “Sorry, my mistake, I’m in the wrong fairy tale!” Then the duck waddled back out.
King Marvelful sent out a search party to find and capture the wicked witch of the Boreal Forest and bring her back to witness the wedding of Prince Howlgrin and Princess Cutiefox. The wicked witch was easy to find. The search party just had to follow the strange odour and found her in a clearing where she stood over a big cauldron, stirring a greenish-looking soup, trying to cast an evil spell on the wedding of Prince Howlgrin and Princess Cutiefox. King Marvelful’s knights caught her before she was able to make the evil spell, and brought her back in time to witness the royal wedding ceremony.
All the inhabitants of both kingdoms were in attendance at the royal wedding ceremony, and there was so much merriment that when the evil witch of the Boreal Forest tried to flee, she got caught up in the happy celebration, and she was then confronted by Prince Howlgrin and Princess Cutiefox who gave her a stern lecture, telling her that goodness always conquers evil.
The wicked witch agreed to amend her ways and became an active member of both kingdoms, working hard to make sure everybody was happy. Prince Howlgrin and Princess Cutiefox lived happily frogever after.