Like every other fairy tale, this ‘once upon a time’ also begins in one of the myriad picturesque kingdoms of Germany, not so far away from Munich.
Now every story needs a princess and we too have one, a ravishing young girl called Tiana who was rather self-obsessed with how she walked, talked and looked. But little did she know that her life was about to change.
One fine spring day, when the flowers bloomed and the birds tweeted, Tiana took her feathered hat, wore her outdoorsy shoes and ran into the royal garden. She took her favourite ball out that was not merely plastic, rather was plated with gold and cost more than an arm and a leg. She played with it and played catch with her dog. Within a matter of a few minutes, the golden ball inadvertently fell into a nearby pond.
“Oh,” the princess cried.
“My favourite ball has fallen into the pond. What should I do? I can’t reach out for it as the water is grimy.”
Suddenly bubbles appeared on the surface and a little frog emerged. “ Don’t you cry princess, I shall get the ball for you but I propose one condition,” he said.
Stunned, she replied, “Am I going berserk or can you talk?”
“Well yes, I can and I would get you your ball too but only if you let me stay with you.”
“ Stay with me…that’s impossible. Look at you, you’re devastatingly hideous and I am gorgeous. We don’t make a match,” she retorted.
However the frog was too stubborn and she reluctantly agreed. She got her ball and the frog came along. He stayed with her, dined with her, played with her and even sat beside her when she was studying. However he was mistreated and had to bear a lot of harassment from the princess. She was in a hurry to shoo him away and tried everything possible.
She tried to poison him and even burn him to death. She did not give him food, kept him locked in a cage and even threatened to make him food for her dog. But the frog had a plan of his own. He decided to take his leave after thinking that he had overstayed his welcome. He asked the princess for one last thing- a kiss.
The princess was disgusted by his request, “What in the world? I am not going to kiss a frog-a wretched creature!” The frog then replied that he would only leave with one kiss.
This forced Tiana to give in. She kissed him and wiped her mouth in the blink of an eye. In a bizarre turn of events the frog became a human and the princess a mere frog.
“What have you done ?” she cried as she turned into the same creature she dreaded. However the prince then explained to her that if she could spend only 24 hours being good she would be turned back.
As reluctant as she was, she was scared too. She did as she was told . She was kind to all humans, poor or rich. Letting a young boy make her his pet, letting people take his skin to make bags and even helping women in the village. She felt good.
She was now a girl but her heart was different- kind, empathetic and selfless. Taking a deep breath, she looked at the prince who was now a frog, “Thank you.”
He gave her a kiss, hopped back to his pond and waited for the next spoilt brat.