Frog Prince Flops Under Scrutiny

“Frog Prince Flops Under Scrutiny” was inspired by unreasonable expectations set by fairy tales, movies, and societal mythology around relationships, seeing “potential” rather than what is actually there, and one’s ability to “change” a significant other. I wanted to tackle this fraught subject with a fun, light tone. Once I grounded the piece in these goals and the framing device of a scientific experiment, “Frog Prince” pretty much wrote itself. 

Why would it not? All data denoted amphibian.
Even the hypothesis seemed preposterous.

They thought Princess would fall for the fantasy
that a frog could become a prince—the gall.
She set out to dissect their premise in an experiment:

Testable hypothesis: A frog is a frog is a frog.
It is not a transformer.

Predictions: Care, charm, and desire will
not cause it to metamorphose.

Experiment: Frog first observed in control condition
devoid of delusion. It was then coaxed, cajoled and catered to
in test conditions designed to optimize and refine. Coaxing
triggered subject’s propensity to bolt. Cajoling captured its
attention but sustained it only at increasing doses. Catering
enhanced toadish traits such as brazenness, self-centeredness,
and reclusiveness (except with respect to breeding).

Observations: Anatomy characteristic of cold blooded
vertebrate. Overlap with select homo sapiens limited to
camouflage and toxicity. While at times beguiling,
specimen was non-responsive to stimuli;
no transformation or regal traits spotted.*

*Participant known as “wicked fairy” claims
to have glimpsed the frog as a prince. Data discarded
as confounding factor after fairy was found
to have been under the influence of ecstasy.

Conclusion: No transmogrification detected.
The frog was just a frog.
Resources reallocated to fruitful pursuits.

V.A. Bettencourt writes poetry and short prose. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Magma Poetry, Burningword Literary Journal, Roanoke Review and SWWIM Every Day, among others.



2022 Prose Chapbook Winner
This is for the Naming, Dacia Price (an excerpt)
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