Sunday, 10 August 2008

The Frog Prince

I had been in the garden with the dogs before locking up the house for the night. We were all glad to be going indoors for the rain had been falling steadily for hours and the garden was a sea of puddles. The light was on in the sitting room dimly lighting the conservatory and as I opened the door I thought a leaf blew in ahead of us. The younger dog ran ahead, sniffed the dark shape and backed off and I realised he was looking a very smallfrog. Pushing both dogs ahead of me I fetched a soft duster from under the stairs, dropped it over the frog and bent to pick it up. Too late, before I could hold it firmly it had slipped through my fingers and hopped through the door into the sitting room where it sheltered under my desk.
No good leaving it there, I thought, goodness knows where it would be by the morning. I would lose it and it might be months before I would find its small dried-out form behind a book case or some other piece of furniture too heavy to move in the general course of housework.
I waited quietly and eventually the dark stranger hopped out from under the desk making for the hall. It sat and gazed up at me, its dark eyes shining in the lamp light. I dropped the duster again and this time moved fast enough to grab its small form. As I carried it towards the garden door I felt its tiny cold body move in my cupped hand and I murmured ‘Don’t worry little one, I’m not going to kiss you and force you to turn into a human prince.’ Gently I released him into plants that grow around the pond and listened to the leaves rustling as he leaped away.
Will a handsome stranger knock on the door before I lock up tonight, I wondered. Of such things are fairy tales made!

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