The princess, following tradition, sought love among the amphibians of the local bog. She was careful which she kissed. Only creatures exhibiting exceptional nobility, by their stature, or their proud stance, could tempt her.

One afternoon, near despair at the absence of eligible toads, she spied an unremarkable animal some distance from the water. The King, my father, she thought, is not so handsome, but he makes himself attractive by being always stand-offish. Perhaps this is what I should be seeking.

The aloof frog took no chasing, but hopped right to her. The princess scooped it up and took it to her lips. It croaked, shifted its weight forward and puckered up, though she did not see this because it was her habit to close her eyes against the abject unpleasantness of the seldom magic peck. Their lips met. Instantly she heard the frog’s voice, as words this time. ‘My darling, at last.’

She opened her eyes and gasped at the receiver of her kiss, still very much reptilian. ‘B…b…but——But in the story you transform into a handsome prince.’

‘Strange,’ replied the frog. ‘We have a similar tale. Though it seems, my pretty green one, that ours is the less fictitious.’

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