By H.B. (16 years old)
Once upon a time, there lived an old king with his son. The king brought up his only son like a precious treasure. As the prince grew up into a young, handsome man, the king started to worry about future heirs. His son however, had no intention of marrying anyone yet.
One day, the prince went hunting with his huntsmen in the forest. He saw a beautiful, silver deer drinking water at the pond. “What a unique deer!” he marvelled. He crept silently towards the deer. Then, he released an arrow from his bow into the deer’s neck. It instantly dropped dead onto the ground with a thud.
“Who killed my deer?” a voice thundered and out of nowhere, an old, ugly witch suddenly appeared before the prince. The prince was badly startled but he stayed calm. “I shall punish you for killing my precious deer!” shrieked the hideous witch. With a wave of her magic wand, she turned the prince into an ugly little green freckled frog. She then vanished into thin air, leaving the bewildered frog prince alone.
Moments later, the prince’s retainers arrived, looking for their young master. “Where is the prince?” they cried loudly. “I’m here! I’m here!” the prince tried to shout but the only sound coming out of his throat was a weak croak. He was not used to croaking yet. Meanwhile, the prince’s attendants ignored the frog and continued their search for the prince. Left alone on his own, the frog prince felt utterly miserable and helpless.
Four months soon passed by. One night, the frog prince felt terribly hungry, so he hopped around looking for food in the forest. While foraging, he saw a faint light in the far distance. Following it, he soon found himself in a small village. “There must be some food that I could eat,” he reckoned.
He hopped in the direction of the light and soon reached a small hut. He stopped and a wide grin lit up his froggy face – the door was wide open. Delighted, he hopped through the door, hoping to find something to eat. He found himself face to face with a mischievous looking little boy the moment he entered. A slow, cheeky smile spread across the boy’s gaunt face. “Uh oh. This doesn’t bode well for me,” the frog prince thought.
“Hey Jack! Come over here! I’ve found a frog!” the imp called out to his older brother. “I’m coming!” Jack shouted back. Sensing evil intentions from the two scamps, the frightened frog prince leaped around frantically, trying to avoid capture. Unfortunately, he was soon caught by the two naughty boys. The younger boy started to pull his hind legs.
“Ribbit! Ribbit!” the frog prince croaked painfully. “Stop that!” a pretty girl with long black hair commanded as she marched angrily up to the boys, “or I won’t cook supper for you!” The two scallywags immediately let go of the frog. “Fine! You take care of that slimy frog yourself,” they chorused and disappeared up the loft.
“Poor Froggy! Don’t be afraid. My name is Lucy,” said the girl and she continued, “you must be hungry. Would you like a bite to eat?” The frog prince bobbed his head up and down fervently. Taking a small plate, Lucy put a thin slice of smoked bacon on it. The frog prince gratefully ate up his meal while Lucy kept the conversation going.
She lived with her two brothers and their sick mother. Being the eldest child, she earned just enough money for them to have two meals a day. On learning the unfortunate financial state of her family, the frog prince felt very sorry for her. “I would help the poor if I could become a prince again,” he mused. Suddenly, a miraculous thing happened. The frog prince was turned back into his princely self in a flash. After rubbing his eyes and pinching himself several times, he burst into joyous laughter.
Lucy stood with her jaws hanging. Shocked to the core, she could only stare at the handsome prince in great amazement. “I am the prince from the Kingdom of Clonmel,” said he, “and through your kindness, you have broken the evil witch’s spell. Would you come with me to my kingdom?” Lucy stood dazed for a moment and finally said, “Yes!”
The news of the prince’s homecoming reached the king’s ears even before the prince arrived at the palace gates. When the prince finally arrived, the court was abuzz with excitement and the old king was ecstatic.
Soon, the largest and most luxurious party was held in the Kingdom of Clonmel. Everybody was overjoyed at the return of their long lost prince. Peal after peal of rippling laughter filled the air. At the stroke of midnight, the prince approached the king with Lucy at his side. “Your Majesty,” he said to the king, “please allow me to marry this wonderful lady who has saved my life.” “Of course, my son,” the king answered, smiling.
A week later, the prince married Lucy and they lived happily for a great many years. The king was the happiest of them all because he had many grandsons and granddaughters to spoil.