Let me introduce myself. I act as if I’m a prince among men, but I’ve always carried a secret shame. For I was once a prince among frogs.
Not in a wheel of karma and past lives sense. No, I literally was born a frog.
As a tad, I had little on my mind, other than survival. Life is brutal and short for most tadpoles. But I was one of the lucky few who survived to have legs. And I used those legs to escape that stagnant pond. For some time I moved from shelter to shelter, always aware of the risk of being eaten by some predator swooping down on me from above, or sneaking up on me from the shadows.
Then one day I was snatched from above, and my world changed.
I had a species change.
It might have been done with open eyes, it is difficult to be sure. I do know that I have difficulty recalling the time before I became a man. I’m not really even sure how old I was, but I must have lived several years as a tadpole and frog, as my transformation to human gave me the appearance of a young adult not a child.
That early time after the change is also just a blurry memory today. Aside from the fact that it was at least a score of years ago, it took some time for my mind to catch up with the change in my body. Surely, I was transformed from frog to man in one event. But that newly enlarged brain took some time to develop a full sense of self as a man.
Some of my earliest memories of that time include a helpful but shadowy figure, who I assume was involved in my change. From clues I have stumbled over since, I suspect she was a notorious crone of the hills, and that she passed away sometime after turning me loose upon the world to make my fortune. But she neglected to (or perhaps deliberately prevented) allow me many memories of my time with her. I don’t even know her name.
I fear I am merely a pawn in some game being played by the Fates, or among hedge witches.
While I think I have been wandering aimlessly, I may well be guided by unseen forces to put me in the path of a suitable princess. Although I may never know why this path was chosen.
So I find myself here today, at the festival before a castle.
And dare I notice that a princess is even now making her way toward me?
I think I ought to put on the tea.