Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tuesday Tale: The Frog Prince

The last Tuesday Tale for this month, and for the next several months, is The Frog Prince. In this tale, a spoiled princess befriends a frog. Many versions of the tale relate that this friendship only began after the princess dropped a golden ball into his pond and the frog agreed to retrieve the ball in exchange for her friendship. The tale goes on to the frog transforming into a handsome prince after a) spending a night on the princess's pillow; b) receiving a kiss from the princess; or c) when the princess slams him against a wall in disgust. Take your pick. It is one of the three in the many different incarnations of this story.

At the time, it was common for shapeshifting curses to be broken by violence so it was not shocking to hear that the princess threw the frog against a wall. There are some tales that go as far as the frog being beheaded before the curse could be lifted. Such an idea is considered animal abuse now so this version is not often included in the children's version of the Brothers Grimm Tales.

The idea that the princess kissed the frog is the related to a popular American phrase. "You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your handsome prince." This propagates hope in the search for romanticized true love.

The Tale has been adapted into movies, plays, muppet versions, operas, and cartoons. When a variation of the Tale, The Princess and the Frog, came out in theaters a couple years ago, I took my little sisters to see it. Like most Disney movies, it was awesome. Catchy music, intriguing story, and beautiful imagery. The girls were still in their Disney princess phase so they really enjoyed it too. The theme of this Tale is pretty easy to spot. Don't judge a person (or frog) based on appearance alone because looks are deceiving. Also, I think another lesson to glean from this story is that once you agree to something, you cannot go back on the bargain so only agree to what you can live with. 2:2? I think so.

Love is love, no matter the back story. <3 DS

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