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Deal 1280 Ribbit

The cluttered studio just left a clear space around her most recent work.

A rollers on a stand held a large beige expanse of Aida fabric stretched for the work in progress, and her work was well underway. She had skeins of the best floss neatly arranged by color, and needles, scissors, threaders, magnifiers, and other less obvious tools neatly arrayed where they could be reached.

The scene was in a swamp, and depicted moonlight reflecting off the still water. Selectively leaving out stitches achieved a shining light effect, letting the light fabric and change of texture contrast with the dark blues, browns, and purples of the water. The stitching technique was impeccable, with every cross formed the same way and pulled exactly flat without puckering the fabric. The back side of the work was as neat as the front, and it was possible the work was intended to be seen from either side.

The technique involved to produce perfectly even stitches on both faces was unusual and difficult.

Especially since it is clear that the two faces are not actually the same image. One is the scene by moonlight. The other is the same scene by sunlight. In each scene, the plants are nearly identical except for different placement of the sprays of tiny lavender flowers, but the critters found in and around are typical of each time of day.

The frogs on both sides are striking yellow and black, with the distinctive markings of D. leucomelas. Not a frog you want to mess with casually, and they know it from their willingness to sit out and bask in the sun where any predator could make the serious mistake of eating them.

The embroidery really is exquisite.

One might expect that the frogs could almost hop right off the fabric.

“Ribbit”.

Oh.

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Deal 1273: One froggy picture

The smartest frog in the world sat for his portrait. Red velvet upholstery nicely set off his green skin tone, while a potted fern and a blue-gray cloudy backdrop provided tonal balance to the composition.

Rare tomes of law, philosophy, and medicine stood as reminders of his accomplishments, all the more rare as they were bound in the hides of his rivals, as was a slim volume of cat cartoons.

He was taking a risk from this session, as most people seeing the photograph would not recognize him as the author of all of the diverse books, or the artist behind the subtle subliminal imagery in the backdrop. If he were recognized for all of that, it would reveal his true age and nature. That might start the Salem Witch Trials all over again, and he’d seen how that worked out the first time.

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Deal 1237: The Frog Prince

“I see you’ve found our Prince.”

“Where? All I see is this frog.”

“That is the Prince. Didn’t you notice his purple toes?”

“Not really.”

“Well?”

“I suppose it could be. But I was expecting something a little more, um, princely?”

“That regal bearing doesn’t count?”

“It’s still just a frog!”

“A frog that is a Prince!”

“A frog that doesn’t do me any good!”

“He is the Prince! That ought to be worth something to you.”

“Not a prince! Frog!”

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Deal 1229: Not amphibious

The time for a revolution is upon us. If left to his own devices, the Prince will fritter away the kingdom in his absurd belief that he was once a frog. This cannot be allowed to continue.

There is no doubt about it.

His slightly green complexion in all the official photographs can be easily explained as a trick of the light and the overuse of these new fangled fluorescent lights in the palace. Before he installed the lights, he never pointed to photographs as evidence. Now he does all the time. Only new photographs, of course.

His unhealthy liking of flies is more difficult to explain. But there is historical precedent. Sir Renfield, at various times, and at various ages has always kept flies in abundance. While one might accuse Renfield of vampirism, the flies never made him a frog.

Furthermore, as so many have demonstrated so well, merely being skilled with a weapon does not make one a soldier.

No, the Prince is not a frog.

And his continued insistence will bring this country to the brink of war if he is not stopped.

The time to act is now.