Once upon a time, when these sort of things would happen, a lovely princess decided to go for a walk through her kingdom. When she left the castle, she saw a small abandoned path that meandered through the woods, and thought of the adventure that was sure to follow. None but fate know why she choose this path, but she did.
And none but fate knows why a frog crossed her path, but it did.
Now this was no ordinary frog. He was smarter than any toad and had even taught himself to speak. On the day he crossed the path, a devilish plan came to his mind. He crossed the path and spoke to the princess.
“Hello princess.” The frog said as it stepped onto the road.
“Oh my!” said the scared princess, “A talking frog!”
“No!” said the frog “I am a price. I was cursed by a witch, but if you kiss me the curse will break and I will be a prince once again.”
The princess felt very sympathetic for the prince who had been turned into a frog, and so, kissed him to break the curse.
Of course the frog was not a prince and wasn’t cursed by a witch, and when the princess opened her eyes he was still the frog he was before.
But the frog was still clever as he was before, and so had the perfect response to princess’s puzzled look.
“I’m sorry,” excused the frog, “but the curse can only break at sunset.”
And so the princess took the frog with her to the castle. They ate diner together and at sun set the frog told her one of the tales of his princely heroism. When he was finished, they kissed again, but the frog was no prince and so he did not change.
“I’m sorry again,” he excused, “but we must wait till sun rise to see if I will change.”
“If?” the princess asked.
“The curse can only be broken if you kiss me completely selflessly.”
And so, when she awoke to find the frog again still a frog, they repeated their day the next day. They would eat, he would tell her a story of his princely greatness, they would kiss, and the princess would awake to find a frog.
Every night, the princess tried to be as selfless as possible, but the thought of her little frog prince leaving her once he was human again, hurt more than never having her prince at all.
Of course, loving a frog didn’t come without consequence. The imaginary prince that had stolen her heart wouldn’t give it back. Although several princes came to her castle, entranced by her beauty, none could stand next to her frog prince.
The frog never left her side, and so, saw everything his lies had caused, and felt sad that his princess wouldn’t live her life as long as he stayed with her.
Finally, one night after they had had their diner, the frog told the princess of his treachery.
When he finished his tale, the princess just smiled back at him and said “I’ve known this for a long time now.” The frog was confused, so she explained. “I love you for the stories you tell me. Not for any promise of a prince. Plus there are no such things as witches.”
The frog couldn’t believe it. How could he have underestimated such an intelligent princess.
Like I said, the frog couldn’t believe it, and so, when the princess went to sleep, he left her. ‘As long as she obsessed over a frog, she would never live her life’ he decided.
Strangely, quite the opposite happened. When the frog left, so did her heart. She walked the path again and again searching for him, but she never noticed the frog hiding from her.
She lived to be an old woman, and the frog to be an old toad. She had the path paved with only the most beautiful of stones and had a bench placed where she first met the frog, so she could sit and wait for him.
One day, when the toad knew his day would come soon enough, he hopped beside the princess a let out a long croak.
She looked down at him and asked “Would you happen to be my frog prince?”
The toad nodded slowly and the princess held him in her arms.
As the sun set behind them she asked “Would you please tell me one last story, prince?”
The toad told her his longest story yet, but unlike the others, this was completly true. He told her of his long life. Every hope, and dream, and want that had ever entered his mind. He told her how an impulse decision had changed her life, and how he regretted every second afterward. He paused many times, and when he finally finished, she kissed him for the final time, and they closed their eyes as the sun fell off the side of the world.
The next morning, the city awoke like the day before, the birds flew like they did before, the frogs croaked like they did before, but unlike any day before, the princess didn’t open her eyes, and unlike any day before, neither did the frog.
If any part of this story is sad with its lies, rejections, and disappointment. It would be that neither of them could open their eyes to see the aged, yet still handsome prince, that had replaced the toad in the coarse of the night.