Once upon a time, at the eastern fringes of the Everythumbria's sprawling black pine forests, where sentient trees are locked in a epic (and evenly matched) battle with the woodcutters, there lived another princess. A very beautiful princess. She thought her nose looked kind of funny, and that her thighs were a little too rubenesque, and maybe if she got her hair cut it would make her look more sophisticated, but she was dead wrong about these things. She was in fact a very beautiful princes exactly the way she was. Many princes courted her, but they really didn't do it for her. Yes, technically, they were princes, but not the kind that rode about on white horses or slew dragons. Mostly these were bland young aristocrats who were more interested in talking about huge tracts of land, their trust funds, and court intrigue. How romantic. Not. So, during one royal ball, she quietly slipped away and went for a walk among the towering black pines. When she was a little girl, she used to disappear into the forest with a nice thick book. She would sit under the sweeping black limbs of an exceptionally tall and old pine that overlooked a lilly pad.
Oh oh. Heeere we go...
She nicknamed the pine Firgenpoogle. She still went there when she needed to be alone and think for a while. The pine was so old and wise that it had learned to talk. Being a pine, even an old and wise one, it didn't have much to say, though. Mostly stuff like "sure is quiet out here, huh?" and "those squirrels sure are funny, huh?". The princess learned not to bother having conversations with the pine.
"A bird just pooped on me." sighed the pine.
"Yup" said the princess noncommitally.
She noticed some movement in the vicinity of the lilly pad.
Ah, so few stories, so many ways to tell them...
It was a heron taking off. "Caaaw" cried the heron.
Suddenly, something plopped into her lap. She looked down with a start, and what did she see but a tree frog!
"Rrrribit! Ahem, pardon me madam. That fly didn't agree with me."
"You talk!" said the princess.
"Yeah, well. This is Everythumbria, and ever since the peasants killed Dr. Genekenstein and dumped all his magical potions into the Bendyback River, damn near everything around here talks at least a little bit. Even trees."
"Is it me, or does everything here smell pine-fresh? Huh huh huh" said Firgenpoogle.
"So, do you have a name?"
"Yes, my name is Al. What's your name?"
"Fibian. Fibian the amphibian, I guess." said the frog with a self-deprecating smirk. "Al's a funny name for a lady. Is it short for Alexandra?" he added.
"Actually, Altagracia. When I was a child, I couldn't pronounce it, and most of everyone else can't either, so I go by Al. I kind of like it-- it's unpretentious. Also, the court butler is named Al, and I love him to pieces. He's like a grandfather to me. It would have been much harder growing up without him."
"So even princesses have rough childhoods, I guess."
"You don't know the half of it. For one thing, my grandparents on both sides died before I was born. My father was never home, because he was out fighting in the Senseless Wars. My mother was busy all the time, having to run the kingdom all by herself. I was raised by servants."
"I know how tough that is. I've been through some of that myself. I hatched with two hundred of my brothers and sisters in that lilly pad over yonder. I never met either my father or my mother. We all swam around dodging snapping turtles and fish until we grew legs and scrambled on over to the trees. Most of us never made it. The ones that did... we were so close to each other! We had spent so much time struggling to survive together, we could almost read each other's minds. We had all these inside jokes, mostly gallows humour, and none of the tadpoles from the other broods could understand them. And we couldn't understand theirs. We swore to keep in touch, get together now and then, and for the ones who make it in the tree tops to help out the less fortunate ones. You know what? We never did. Oh, we had a couple of half-hearted reunions, but everything was different. We had grown apart. Our wet, slimy, innocent idealism was gone, replaced by a slightly moist protective layer of adulthood. I never knew my first family, and lost touch with my second one. But I'm not complaining. I'm healthy, I'm successful, and I'm in the prime of my life. The world is my dung beetle. But I'm sorry, I didn't mean to lay all that on you."
"On no, don't worry, I thought that was fascinating."
"So, um, did your father... I mean, did you ever, um, get ot meet your father again?"
"Oh yeah, he survived and came home. Physically, anyway."
"He came home, with a peg leg and a hook for an arm. I was five when he left, and fourteen when he came back. He wasn't anything like I remembered him to be, and I was afraid to hug him because of his hook arm. I mean, I did hug him, of course, but it felt totally awkward and I'm sure he felt that too.
"He never said much. Mostly he sat by the fireplace, drinking, writing in his journal, and brooding. One day, I came home from school, and he wasn't there anymore. His horse was gone from the stable. His armor, his weapons, his favourite books were all gone. I knocked on the door of my mother's study, and she invited me in.
"She was sitting very straight and proper, not one wrinkle of her royal mantle out of place. Her voice was low and calm. Which probably meant that she had been in there crying her eyes out all afternoon. 'Daddy has decided to leave, sweetheart. He asked me to tell you that he loves you very much. So much that he cannot bear to tell you goodbye himself.'
"'Why did he leave?' I asked, in some kind of trance.
"'I don't know. I guess he just wasn't happy. He didn't want to be King of Everythumbria anymore.' She mused, her voice quavering just a little.
"'He still loves us. M-maybe someday he'll come back.' She said and looked away."
"So, did he?" asked Fibian.
"Not so far." sighed the princess. "Not so far. And, you know what the worst part is? Having to put on appearances. The court, the people... we had to be strong and regal for them. We had to be bright and perky, and put on lavish balls, and go on as if nothing was wrong."
"Ugh. I'm glad I'm not royalty."
The princess pointed to her nose and said "Bing bing bing! Right you are."

So it went. The frog and the princess became friends, and confidants. Like all princesses, she had heard all kinds of crazy stories about frogs, and so of course she couldn't help fantasizing about what would happen if she kissed him. But how can you tell when a frog wants to smooch?
"So, Fibian. Have you ever thought about smooching?" she asked him one fine day.
"Well, I am after all a male frog. I'd smooch anything under the right circumstances, and you're quite pretty for a human. Especially when the light falls just so."
"Excuse me? What's that supposed to mean?"
"Oh don't be that way. I was just playing. You are in fact the most beautiful creature of any species that has every graced this world with her radiance."
"That's better" said the princess, appeased. "So, back to the smooching issue. Want to try it, and see what happens?"
"Alright. But if there's anything that makes you uncomfortable, or whatever, speak up, okay? We've been friends for a while now, so whatever issues suddenly come up, we'll work through them. Let's not get all weird on each other, deal?"
With a slightly trembling hand, and more than a slightly pounding heart, the princess picked up the frog and brought him close to her lips. Up close, he was okay looking. He certainly had pronounced features. Clean shaven, as all frogs are by nature, except the bearded frogs the Misty Marshes. Also, he had no hangups about making eye contact, and his gaze was steady. This frog knew how to keep his cool, and that's something Al liked in any man. She wondered what kind of handsome prince he would turn into. Would it be a muscular, heroic, Sir Henry Rollins type of prince? Or the willowy, elven Lord David Bowie variety? Fibian blinked, expectantly. She gently let his cool froggy snout press into her lips. She realized that a fun thing about kissing someone so much smaller than herself was that she had full control over it. She could make it as quick or as prolonged as she wanted. She parted her lips slightly and ran her tongue over what lips he had. He in turn slipped his tongue into her mouth, and it was so long it made her gag.
"Hey, wath ith!"
"Sthorryth." said the frog, and backed off with the tongue a bit.
So the kiss continued for a long, long time. The sun had moved accross the sky noticeably by the time their mouths were so sore they couldn't continue any longer. Which is to say, they both enjoyed the kiss immensely, all the more because they were sure somebody would forbid them to do that sort of thing if only anybody knew.
Somehow in the process, the princess had taken leave of all her clothing, which was lying at her feet in a big heap. She also seemed to have lost weight because the clothes were way too big to fit her now.
"Just what the hell is going on, Fibian?!"
Fibian just stared a her, speachless.
She blinked her nictating membranes a few times and ran her webbed fingers over her now smooth scalp. "Oh god. No. Oh god oh god oh god. Please no." She hopped over to a rain puddle beyond the reaches of the pine, and tilted her tiny torso over to look at her reflection. "I'm a... frog." she croaked.
"That's like saying the Mona Lisa is pretty picture, my love." said a deep, manly voice behind her. "My dearest, you are the loveliest frog I have ever seen. You know how I said before how beautiful you were? Well, I was lying to make you feel good, but now I mean it from the bottom of my two chambered heart. You have such perfect skin... such a symmetrical arrangement of spots. Your eyes... like two dark amethysts set in your malachite cranium. That gentle curve of your lips. I didn't say it before for fear of sounding like a fool, but I had a feeling about this. I had feeling that if I loved you enough... that I would find a beautiful frog hiding inside that big, awkward human. And now it came true! Our kiss transformed you!"
"Gee, thanks." she said.
"My love, I see such a future for us together... I am the luckiest amphibian in the world."
"Fibian, can you please now leave me the fuck alone for a few minutes? I need some space, to figure out what the hell I'm going to do, okay?"
"Yes, sweetest. I'll be waiting for you with fluttering membranes."

But before long, she got used to her new life, and even came to enjoy it. It was, after all, heartwarming to be loved so much, even by a frog, who on second glance was a handsome frog. Definitely one who could fertilize the eggs of any she-frog he wanted, yet the only eggs he wanted were hers. That was just so sweet, or rather biqual (biqual is the taste of a fresh bug, and the most delicious sensation to a frog palate). Besides, life among the pine bows was so much less stressful than back at the castle.

(RrrrRRibbit!) The End (RrrRRRrrribbbit!)

No story of mine is ever finished. No story on Everything2 ever is. That's the point. Have something to add, remove change? A different ending? A different beginning or middle? That's what the writeup box is for.

Unfinished Stories
The Fairy Tales Metanode

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