Gargoyle 9
cover drawing by Ashby North
publication date 3/23/1978

The Parable Of The Wise Frog

Diane DeVaul

There once was a wise frog who decided she was a princess in dis-
guise. What she wanted was a real prince. She hopped from prince-
dom to princedom. When she thought she found one, she would hang
around, following in his footsteps (which made for some embarrassing
moments) until she found him smellier or dirtier than a real prince.
Then she’d start her journey again. And she found her prince, one
who got better with time, not dingier. One day when he was sitting
down, resting, she hopped into his lap, and before he could shoo
her away, smacked him a great big, slippery kiss. And behold, the
heavens opened, a ray of sun hit her slimy back, and she was indeed
a beautiful princess. After a while though, the spell wore off,
and she began to wonder if she were really a frog; merely reflected
as a woman in the prince’s eyes; instead of a beautiful woman who
had hopped around as a frog for protection. For she was smart
enough to see that maybe what she had found was not a real prince,
but some insane frog lover, whose fantasy life was bound up in frog
fetishes; and being a frog at heart, she couldn’t sort out the truth.
Being timid in some ways, she handled the problem by covering all
the options. When she felt a crouch coming on, she would run for
the prince, leap into his lap (even if she had to knock him down
first) and smack him wetly on his lips. At first this strange ardor
amused the prince, but quickly he came to resent it, and said it
embarrassed him. Besides, everyone in his princedom was telling
jokes about his princess. Then, one night in her sleep, she croaked
out loud. Her prince listened to her nightmare and she thought he
understood. But the next morning, he decided he needed to get away.
The thought of his leaving, panicked her, and she started feeling
the crouch coming on more and more often. The prince left soon
after, and she found out, after many sleepless nights of terror,
that her skin didn’t go green and spotted. Her legs didn’t fold
up like a card table. She discovered she wasn’t a princess either.
There was grey in her hair when the prince came back, no longer a
prince. And she found out she was still alone. She had to start
all over, as now she knew nothing was as it had seemed.