The Spellbound Princess
This story was written around 1986 and was the product of a game which Peter, our son, and I played when he was about 5 years old. The game is well known - One person starts a story and the second person takes over and tries to change its direction. The first person has to incorporate their changes and try and bring it back to the original story. We had great fun making this one.
Once upon a time there was a prince who went to a strange new country.
As he was walking along he came upon a princess sitting on a stool in a little wooden shed.
"What are you doing sitting there?" said the prince but the princess did not answer. She just sat there looking like a statue.
She looked so beautiful that the prince thought to himself she was just the perfect bride for him. In fact he had set out on his mission to find himself just such a princess and this was the fourteenth country he had visited. He had been getting a little
fed up with his quest and if he had not found this beautiful, stranded maiden he might have turned round and gone home that very minute.
He shook her, but still she did not move. He sang her a little song (the birds flew away holding their ears) but still she did not move.
"To be true!" exclaimed the prince "She must be enchanted."
Just then he heard the awful cackle of an old wicked witch.
"Get away!" she shouted at him in the most horrid, rasping voice he had ever heard. But the prince stood his ground for love of the maiden.
"No, why should I?" he said.
"This is why!" cackled the witch and pointed a crooked finger at him. Out of nowhere an enormous bumpy, scaled dragon appeared and got ready to frazzle him to cinders. He turned and ran for cover so that the dragon's breath only caught his coat tails and singed his bottom rather badly.
He dashed off to the riverbank and sat down in the river. With a sizzle and frizzle the fire was put out and the prince was much relieved. Back he went to rescue his love.
The dragon had gone but the old witch still stood there hovering over the enchanted princess. The prince had some plans of his own by now. Out of his bag he produced a handy pack of dynamite and lit the fuse.
"Here!" he said, "catch this." and threw the dynamite into the witches hands. The witch staggered back into her own house and there was an enormous bang.
For a moment there was complete silence and then the house slowly started to move up in the air and, just as slowly, come back down. The door, opened and there was the witch holding the dynamite in her ugly hands
"Ha!" she said wickedly "You will have to do better than that, boy! "
"Release the princess!" shouted the prince or I will.....
"You will what?" cackled the witch.
"I...I...I'll think of something."
"You will have to be quick." said the witch, "because now I must move her to a new secret hiding place. It's all your own fault, you stupid oaf ! You should have left us alone".
The witch wrapped her bony arms about the neck of the princess and waved the prince away.
"I'll be back ....you old hag. You have lost your grip on her now, I know it in my bones."
"Be off with you! You young imp, you and your bones!"
The prince fell on the ground in a heap beside the river. He buried his head in his hands in utter despair. As he sat there a small green frog jumped across his path. Like a flash of lightening he caught it and jumped to his feet.
"That's it!" he shouted and began running back to the witch holding the little green frog tightly in his hands. He reached the witch just as she was preparing to vanquish the princess to a new place.
"You again!" mumbled the witch, getting a little tired by his interruptions. "If you take a step further I will turn you into a frog."
"That's what I suspected," said the prince but can you change a frog into a prince when some other witch has turned it into a frog. I have been told that only senior witches can undo other witch's spells and my friend ...er, George..here, has been a frog for some time now. How about it then? Are you as powerful as that?"
"Give it here you goat!" snapped the witch and then I will do the same to you." She stuck out her scrawny hand to grab hold of the frog. Just as the prince had guessed she did not want to miss the chance of showing off her miserable powers.
"But wait," said the prince drawing it back. "First we must make a pact, a magic pact. If you are not able to do this you must release the princess from her spell."
"And if I do that?" queried the witch.
The prince pretended to put on a serious face and answered with fake bravery, "Then I too will fall under your evil magic."
"It is done," cackled the old hag and waved her wand in the air. "Now give me the wretched creature."
His plan depended solely upon the fact that this was indeed an ordinary frog. He knew enough to know that the witch's spell would backfire if she tried to reverse a spell that never existed.
However, up to this time, he never thought of the possibility that this little green frog could really be a prince under a spell. He looked at the frog in the witch's hand and his stomach suddenly dropped into his boots. His throat went dry and he took on a glazed look much like his spellbound princess.
"What's the matter lovey?" cooed the witch "Didn't you know I put all my frog princes down by that river? A little nervous now are we?"
She gave an ear-piercing yell and opened a book of spells, pinning down its pages with an old bone.
"In this book is the most powerful reversal spell known to witches." crooned the old hag.
"Say goodbye to this fair world my pretty one. You are about die!"
With great fuss and drama she started the incantation. Great clouds of smoke ascended around her. The book and the table on which sat the little green frog disappeared from view. When the clouds subsided the witch was no longer to be seen. Instead, sitting beside the book of spells was, not one, but TWO little green frogs;.
"It worked!!" shouted the prince and pounced forward to catch the princess before she fell off the stool.
The princess opened her eyes and instantly fell madly in love with the handsome prince (as was to be expected).
The witch, however never quite knew what happened. At first she was hopping mad to find herself sitting on a table but the frog squatting next to her seemed to have a jolly glint in his eyes.
It might have been the reversal spell or maybe just the weather but a mad, impetuous impulse came over her and she couldn't help wishing that he would ask her to marry him.
The little green frogs were last seen holding hands down by the riverside and no doubt lived hoppily ever after.
The prince and princess returned to the affairs of state and were married as soon as the dress was ready.
They also lived happily ever after, apart from being slightly nervous about little green frogs.