Enchanted Conversation: “The Case of the Missing Kiss”

An article by Yours Truly just went up on Enchanted Conversation Magazine. Those of you who’ve been reading my ramblings for a while might recognize it: I wrote it in the course of my grad school research and posted it on Quillandqwerty; now EC has kindly republished it.

THE CASE OF THE MISSING KISS

I’ve been studying Frog Prince tales. You know the ones: princess meets frog, he does her a service, in return he asks for a kiss, she kisses him, and hey presto, he’s turned into a handsome prince. Right? Wrong. If you look at the Grimms’ version—tale #1 in the CHILDREN’S AND HOUSEHOLD TALES—you’re doing okay until you get to the kissing part. It’s not there. It quite simply doesn’t exist. The act that gets the prince unfroggified is one of gross violence: the princess chucks the frog against her bedroom wall (in the 1812 version, with a lovely onomatopoeic “Splat!”). That’s right, attempted murder. When he falls down from the wall—I’ve always had trouble visualising that bit—he’s a handsome prince with “friendly eyes,” and the princess happily goes to bed with him.

That’s fine, you say. There are other versions of that story that have the kiss in it, aren’t there? Well, not that I can find, at least in the old tales…

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Life, the Universe, and The Case of the Missing Kiss. The things you find out…

Hitting the Wall: Not Your Standard Frog Prince Story

HittingTheWall-OFFENWANGER-ArtABergloff

What happens when you stake everything on one particular version of a fairy tale? Find out in “Hitting the Wall”, my interpretation of “The Frog Prince”, posted on Enchanted Conversations:

“Become a frog,” they said. “You’ll have pretty girls lining up to kiss you. Sure way to get that girlfriend.” …

But what nobody had told me was that the folklore about frogs is different in Europe. Girls read fairy tales from books there, and the way the old Grimms tell the story isn’t what I’d always heard.

It was a nasty surprise…

To keep reading, go on over here...