When magic still dwelt in this land, a rather vain and arrogant prince knelt next to a shimmering pool of water to admire his reflection. He smiled at the water-mirror of his crystalline blue eyes, thick wavy flaxen hair. His raiment equally fair: a bright silver shirt of mail over a tunic trimmed with golden braid. The bejeweled hilt of his sword glistened in the afternoon sunlight.

“A fine Lord and fellow,” he said to his watery twin; image framed by the clearest of summer skies.

A small frog, frightened by the huge shadow, leapt from the bank into the water. Like a skipping stone, the jump caused ripples to mar the prince’s image.

“Damnable frog,” he muttered, “How dare such an ugly thing turn my golden image into lead!”

Suddenly, he was looking up through flashing, fractured sun-diamonds at boughs overhanging the pond.

At first, the prince bemoaned such a wicked, unfair twist of events. Yet, here he was in the pond, with inquisitive moon fish nipping at his now-webbed toes. He spat out his first fly, but eventually, hunger drove him to lap up water-dancers.

With the turning of each season, the prince remembered less of his life in castle keep. He no longer dreamed of feasting in banquet halls and dancing with maidens in lily-white gowns; rather of dragonflies and tadpoles.

for mlmm Tale Weaver/Fairy Tale # 150: the prince who forgot.

image: m c escher, rippled surface, 1950