The Kissing Princesses

by Nicholas J. Perry © 2001

I liked being a frog, I really did. Oh, I pitched a fit when my father said I didn't deserve to be human, with my "Unnatural Tendencies," and told his witch to turn me into a frog. But being a slimy amphibian wasn't that bad.

Frog life was actually better for me. All that frogs really cared about was eating swamp bugs. They accepted me without imposing the constraints that made life as a person so unbearable, as long as I didn't eat all the bugs. Bugs didn't taste that bad either, once you got used to them.

The worst thing about being a frog was the kissing princesses. They were always searching the swamp for a frog to kiss and turn into an attractive prince for them to marry. I guess they were dissatisfied with the human princes out there, and I couldn't blame them. The princes I knew were all conceited creeps.

Most of the kissed frogs were just plain frogs, with only a few of us being royalty conjured into amphibians. When a princess kissed an ordinary frog, all she got was a frog mad at interruption of bug hunting.

I had avoided the kissing princesses until Princess Jessica came, or actually, until she came the sixth time. She was persistent, and I kind of liked that. But I liked being a frog, and I knew I wasn't the type she was wanted, so I kept leaping away from her grasp, until she brought the net. This girl was bright, and I liked that too.

"I've got you now," she proclaimed as she snared me in her net.

Most of these kissing princesses were squeamish about touching frogs, making it amusing to watch them try to kiss one. But not Jessica, she boldly grabbed me from her net and laid a firm but gentle kiss on my forehead.

I wondered if she would be so bold when she saw what I became once kissed. She wasn't.

"You're a woman!" she shrieked.

I kissed her, not so gently. "Yes, a woman who loves you, one princess to another." Jessica was the sort of woman I loved before being frogged, the sort of woman-to-woman love that my father so disapproved of.

"This is all wrong!" she cried. "I wanted a handsome prince to love me, not a princess."

"We can be happy together, you and I," I entreated.

Jessica was unconvinced. She ran from the swamp, and I hastily followed. She would learn what it was like to be chased. We would at least have that in common.

x x x

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