The Frog Prince
by Jonathan Vos Post
Once upon a time there was a princess, beautiful as moonlight, but sighing as she meandered along the forest path one warm early summer in an intentionally unspecified year. "Oh me, oh my, how lonely and sad and pitiful it is to be a princess who does not want to marry the vapid prince that would benefit my father, the King's, geopolitical agenda. How I wish that there were some quick fix to this unsolvable problem."
A voice rose from a small pond, rimmed by bulrushes.
"This is your fortunate day, oh princess fair, for your wish has been granted."
"Who sprach?" she said. "Or who spake. Whatever. Danged if I can get my mind around this pseudo-Germanic Grimm-like genre convention."
"It was I," said the voice, "your enchanted prince."
"Where are you?" she said. "I don't see anyone in this clearing, in the midst of which is this small pond, rimmed by bulrushes."
"Of course you don't," said the voice. "Because I am in said pond."
She stepped closer to the edge of the pond.