the legend of The Sparkly Toad
Once, there was a princess in an ivory tower. She wasn’t particularly lovely to look at, nor quick of tongue, nor especially kind. She did, however, have rainbows in her head. Drips of color, visions of sparkles, lyrics of words and feelings that danced and sang and frolicked and made within her mind a place more beautiful than the world without.
The princess sat for hours at the window of her tower. As the people passed, sometimes she made friends with them, if they weren’t in too much of a hurry, and if she was paying attention, and wasn’t too sad. One of these was the local woodcutter. He was a friendly sort, and never too busy for a few kind words for the princess. And he made her laugh almost every day, which was rather unusual for the princess, since so many of the people that passed beneath her window were full of drudgery and woe.
One day the princess made a remarkable discovery. The woodcutter told her that he, too, was of noble blood. But he was accustomed to the labor, he said, and rather liked it. He liked to be useful, and to be a part of the world they lived in. People could be cruel, but they could also be funny, and kind. And so he chose an honest day’s work with the village. The princess was astounded, and delighted…and determined that she, too, would do the same. And they were married.
The woodcutter-prince cherished his princess, and gave her four lovely daughters. The girls were sweet, and kind and danced like the rainbows in the hopes and dreams of the princess. But they were like their father, too, and loved to wander in the forest or splash in the streams and wrestle like street urchins and shout and laugh and sing.
And the princess knew that common life was lovely. And that the ugliest toad could sparkle when reflecting the delight in a child’s eye. And the words and colors in the princess’ head came through her heart and mouth and hands and they sang and played and created for her family and community and made their world even more beautiful.