by Katherine Phelps
Ah the teen years, perhaps the liveliest and most passionate of times. When respected and well directed they can also be amongst the most creative of times. I happen to know a story about one young man who required a rather hefty push in the right direction. His name was Prince GoldenOrb, which sounds like a proper fairytale name until you realise that he was born in the late seventies while his parents were tripping out on hash brownies.
Prince GoldenOrb's parents did all the usual things for royalty of the sixties. They attended Sherwoodstock, they ordered their subjects to peacefully protest the war in the neighbouring state of Freedonia, and they established hemp as the major cash crop of their kingdom. What they didn't do was teach their son to respect boundaries, a crucial lesson if you don't want a young prince to grow up a warlord and really bum you out.
As such Prince GoldenOrb and his princely buddies had a nasty habit of playing heavy metal music, drinking, and trashing the castle. This was usually punctuated by long, bored discussions about why there weren't any princess babes around. And Trina, Prince Joe's little sister, didn't count because she was still in pigtails and braces, with her finger frequently residing up her nose.
After his third castle trashing in one week Prince GoldenOrb's parents had had enough. They called in the royal shaman for advice.
"Like royal shaman, our son's behaviour is most bogus, how might we mellow the little dude out?" asked the prince's parents.
The shaman pulled out his stash of peyote and assisted the whole court in achieving an altered state of consciousness, so as to reach their inner wisdom. The shaman's spirit animal, the gerbil, brought the king and queen to a shining pool of water and bade them look deep within it. "What do you see?" asked the shaman.
"Oh wow! Like I'm seeing colours and ripples, and my whole face is dissolving into water molecules," said the king.
"And what do you see?" asked the shaman of the queen.
The queen wasn't really getting into it that day, so she said, "A lot of frogs."
Once the king and queen had returned from their oobe (out of body experience), they found that their son had been turned into a frog.
Prince GoldenOrb was understandably pissed.
"We're sure it will wear off as soon as you've worked your karma out," consoled his parents. But the prince would have none of it, and hopped out into the woods to sulk.
"That'll teach them," he thought.
Of course for a royal teenager, turning into a frog is at least as bad as breaking out in a bad case of acne without any "Peer-asil". So, Prince GoldenOrb felt too embarrassed to return home where his friends might catch him in this laughable state. For days on end he drank heavily of pond scum until he passed out at some sandbar. His concerned parents sent him regular meals of silkworm au gratin and fly a la mode for dessert.
Eventually he got bored. So he organised the other pond animals into a marsh grunge band. He composed, arranged, and sang songs like: Smells Like Queen Spirit, All I Wanna Do Is Have Some Mud, and I'm an Amphibian Baby, So Why Don't You Gill Me.
Since the pond was a popular place for making out, he started developing a loyal following of teenagers at his concerts. He was particularly popular with a group of young people who painted their faces white, used heavy black eyeliner, and wore only grey leather and lace. They liked dancing close to campfires while he was playing, and called themselves Moths. He even attracted an agent who billed him as "The Frog formerly known as Prince" or just "The Frog".
One day The Frog had become so famous that he was holding a concert at Wombley Stadium. He was just beginning to play his current hit single, Mmm-bog, when the visiting Princess Trina threw a golden ball at the stage to remind him of her. The ball accidentally beaned The Frog right between the eyes. Prince GoldenOrb's agent and the concert organiser were horrified, since they hadn't properly insured the event. Princess Trina was horrified because she by no means meant to hurt The Frog. The Frog was just horrible, singing off key and reeling around the stage in dazed confusion.
Trina immediately offered to take The Frog home, so that her royal physicians could look after him. The agent and the concert organiser hastily agreed. The Princess did her best to nurse The Frog back to health. She gave him water from her golden cup and fed him from her golden plate. That evening she took him back to her room to sleep in her ex-gerbil's Habitrail set, but decided it might be nicer if he slept on her pillow for the night instead.
By that time The Frog was feeling a little more coherent. It took him a while to recognise Princess Trina, because in the space of one year she had really blossomed. The braces were gone, the pigtails had become long golden tresses, and that tight Valkyrie armour she wore required truly queen size hubcaps. And besides that, she was very nice.
They began chatting about the good old days. The Frog, in a fit of nostalgia combined with a massive hormone surge, decided to show off by doing a bit of head banging. He hurled his froggy body against the wall and knocked himself out cold. When he came to, Princess Trina was giving him mouth to mouth resuscitation and, miraculously, he was a human prince once more.
A few months later Prince GoldenOrb and Princess Trina were wed. Though the Prince's popularity waned, since he was no longer a frog, he continued to write and perform songs for his loyal fans. Then one day his parents abdicated in order to join a commune in Monte Carlo and he became known as "The King".
Copyright © 17 December 1997, Katherine Phelps