A kiss will decide the fate of a prince, a princess, and two kingdoms. This time-honored tale as never before told. If you liked the Brothers Grimm story, you'll love the novella. Rediscover the enchanting tale of "The Frog Prince" today!
Award-winning author Mike Klaassen began writing fiction when his sons were teenagers. His first two books were young-adult action-adventure novels influenced by his experience as a Kansas farm boy and as a Scoutmaster. A visit to the site of the Battle for New Orleans led Mike to write Backlash: A War of 1812 Novel, featuring five young Americans in the fight of their life. Ongoing research encouraged Mike to write books about the craft of writing fiction. The use of folktales as examples in his nonfiction books inspired him to begin Klaassen's Classic Folktales, a collection of ancient stories retold as novellas.
Once I decided to tell this story from the perspective of the frog, a whole range of opportunities arose. For example, the prince/frog now found himself further down the food chain, as illustrated in the accompanying bubble.
The Frog Prince
an egret, white as snow on a sunny day, circled the pond and dropped into the water a few yards from him. As a prince, he had seen egrets before, but always they had been in the distance. Whenever he had tried to get close to them for a better look, they had flown away. This one was so close he could see it in detail, and he had to admit that it was a beautiful bird.
It tilted its head, eyeing the water as it eased through the shallows at the pond's edge. Each step was in slow motion, with one leg up and forward ever so carefully, and then the other. Gerit figured the egret was trying to sneak up on an unsuspecting fish for a midmorning snack. He had seen an egret hunt before, and he knew that once it had spotted its prey, the bird would thrust its head and neck into the water and come up with a fish caught between the jaws of its beak. Tipping its head back, the egret would wolf the fish down and swallow it whole.
The egret edged closer, and Gerit wondered if he would be so lucky as to see the bird catch a fish. He held his breath in eager anticipation. Now, only a couple feet from him, the egret stopped. Its head tilted, and Gerit could see its eye focused on him.
Panic flashed through Gerit's mind as he realized what might happen next. With speed that astonished him, the egret's neck shot toward him, and its beak snapped shut on his body. Pain seared through him as the egret lifted him skyward.
The egret was now below him, its white body in sharp contrast to the shimmering water. With horror, Gerit realized that the egret would tip its head back, open its mouth wide, and gulp him down whole. He would slide down the bird's throat to its stomach, where he would lie helpless in the dark as the egret's digestive juices slowly dissolved him.
The egret's head tipped back, and its beak opened slightly to allow Gerit to drop into its mouth. Gerit kicked and squirmed with all his strength, and he freed himself from the beak.
The beak clamped down on him again but loosened when the egret tried once more to swallow him. Gerit kicked and squirmed again. This time, he slipped from the bird's grasp, falling end over end toward the pond.
He flopped into the water with a messy splash, and the egret darted after him. Gerit ducked underwater and kicked. The egret's beak speared the water as Gerit shot downward. With another powerful kick, he sped to the bottom of the pond. Trembling, he hid himself among the water plants.