The Frog Prince tells the tale of a prince cursed into frog form becoming human again after the kiss of a princess. I won’t write about the gender stereotypes and roles the fairy tale transmits. That’s been done many times. I want to explore what it may have been like for the prince instead. So, imagine that you are a prince…
You wake up ready to start the day. You hop into the sunshine and see a glorious mosquito- whap- breakfast is served. It’s a simple life, being a frog. Hunting, croaking, hopping,swimming, and sunbathing. And there’s all the lady frogs vying for your affections. You are one handsome and vital frog indeed. Life is good.
One day, a pair of hands snatch you from the water and lifts you up. You see a huge mouth and just know you’re about to die but something else happens. You feel searing pain as your body stretches and muscles extend and contorts back to human form. The next thing you know you are standing calf deep in the pond, staring into the eyes of a lovely princess. And all the memories of being a cursed prince flood back. Your life underwent two major unexpected changes: prince, frog, prince. From a simple life, you’re thruster into the world of humans and eventual responsibility of a kingdom. You had no control over your destiny.
Or perhaps you knew that you were a cursed prince. You remembered being a handsome, intelligent, important man. A prince. You wore the finest clothing, slept in satin sheets, had servants performing the menial tasks. You partied with other nobles and courtiers. Much was made of you. You drank the finest wine. And the food! Glorious food! Delicious, fresh, and plentiful. Then you sleep in mud and muck. You eat bugs and drink pond water. And all those damn female frogs chasing you around. You doubt you will ever be a prince again and are filled with bitterness, hopelessness, and depression. Still, you try. You know the terms of the curse. You need to be kissed by a princess to be restored but there aren’t any around here and it’s unlikely there will ever be. Finally, you resign yourself to being a frog. One day, your princess finds you. And you stand calf deep in the pond looking into her glorious eyes.
Which frog would you rather be? Both face the traumatic events of being a cursed prince. One had the additional challenge of remembering what was before- with all the despondency the situation brings. The other had to adjust from being a frog with no knowledge to being flooded with physical change and (re) discovering his true identity. Both faced life altering change over which they had no control.
Are we all naught but frogs?
The ending of both scenarios are the same. You marry the princess that you only met once. Of course, the story of your meeting is unforgettable, even if you want to. You have to breed up an heir and a spare. Then you settle down to rule. Your “happily ever after?” Not until after you’ve had therapy… lots and lots of therapy.