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"Let Me Settle With You"

 A faded grey sparrow's bright tune is abruptly interrupted by a strange sight. A young girl cradles a frog in her palm. Fear sparkles and falls from her eyes. 

"Ought I to break your spell?" she asks the frog. "I could never bear to have you settle for me." 

"Never would I settle for you! Nay, rather I yearn to settle with you!" 

"But the first kiss may be unpleasant . . ." 

The bird wonders over all this; at a pretty girl holding an ugly frog. It was clear that it wasn't so much she thought kissing this slimy thing would be distasteful, but that the creature would be disappointed by herself. 

"It's not the first of which I dream, but each one that shall follow," the frog says. 

"But . . ." Her lip quivers. "I'm such a horrid girl." 

The frog croaks, "It is I that am the beast. Your kiss will save me." 

The bird watches as the girl hesitates, fighting some uglier creature locked away, deep inside. 
She kisses the frog. 

Both the girl's and the frog's faces contort. Indeed, at first, it must have been repulsive, this first kiss and the letting go of once upon a time. But then comes transformation. And as love replaces each fear, as every seen and secret vile skin vanishes, happily ever after finds roots.

~  ~  ~ 

Flash fiction retelling of "Princess and the Frog" written sometime in the Fall of 2020
Illustration painted December 2020

A fun sketch highlighting self-worth and the frightening desire of our wild hearts: to let go of self that we might settle alongside another. All the while, society would have us believe that settling is something to be avoided, that freedom is found only in the pursuit of self. 

The greater tragedy is when the fellow is indeed a beast; when the girl's lips are truly poisoned; when the kiss never happens; or worse, when the kiss does happen and there is no union of "shedding" all false, calloused skins that separate man and wife. 

~  ~  ~ 

*Here is a fun blog REVAMP recently started by a friend. Travel, culture, literary spiels . . . it's all there ;) 


  1. I love this! Such a strange, simplistic beauty in the idea.

  2. I love this, Keturah! <3 Your stories, even short ones like this, always give me food for thought.

    1. Thanks so much! T'was born out of thoughts I was chewing on. Wonder if that means you're tasting what I spit out... or ... this analogy is bordering repulsive now lol!


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