GENWiki

Premier IT Outsourcing and Support Services within the UK

User Tools

Site Tools


archive:stories:frogp
                             THE FROG PRINCE
                                                 Andrew Varga
                                                 Copyright 1992
            I plunked my tray down as I slumped into the booth.
        Factory-modified foodstuffs entombed in plastic.
            Exhausted, and it was only noon.  I'd been to five
        businesses that morning, resume in hand, proudly, even
        boastfully locating employment.
            Truth is, I'd gone out begging for someone to read
        the damned thing.
            What would my wife say when I came home empty-handed
        again?  She'd smile bravely at my story, but I knew I'd
        catch the ugly desperation roaming around behind her eyes.
        And my insides would crumble again, like an old brick
        building in an earthquake.
            "May I sit down?"
            I looked up into the face of the ugliest old man I'd
        ever seen.  I can't say that he was shabbily dresses, but
        he was as close as one could come to it.  But the truly
        surprising thing about him was his face.  It was almost as
        though some wicked witch had tried to turn him into a frog
        but had somehow forgotten part of the incantation and the
        spell only partly took hold!  The Creature from the Black
        Lagoon without the gills!
            "All the other seats are taken," he said quietly as I
        sat there gawking.
            All I could do was nod.
            "Thank you very much," he said with genuine sincerity
        and a twinkle in his eyes.
            I quickly turned my attention to my unappetizing
        sandwich, trying to hide my shocked surprise.
            I heard his tray touch my table, and the rustle of his
        clothes as he sat down.  I glanced up just as he removed
        his hat.  His large bald head was covered with big brown
        splotches, like what you'd find on a spotted toad.  As I
        hastily returned to my meal, I noticed that the only thing
        on his tray was a plastic cup filled with black coffee.
        His silence made me look up again.  Two fingers were
        missing from one of his hands.  They were folded and his
        head was bowed.  This awful looking creature was praying!
            Wanting to get away as soon as I could, I took a bite
        and began stuffing my sandwich back into its thermoplastic
        tomb.
            He glanced across at me and smiled.  Those eyes.  So
        bright.  So out of place.
            "Care for a little conversation?"
            I was appalled.  Can't he see that I'm trying to
        ignore him?   I tried to speak but ended up spitting food
        on myself.
            Embarrassed, I nodded.
            He handed me his napkin and started to speak.  I did
        my best not to listen.  Some story about war and Berlin
        and an orphanage and America.
            Then it hit me.  This ugly old man was telling me his
        whole life story!  I stared in disbelief.  The alarms in
        the back of my head were beginning to go off.  I felt, no
        I knew, I had to get out of there.
            I began listening in hopes of finding a break in his
        story, so that I could excuse myself without being too
        rude.
            "And then," he said, sitting erect with pride, "I was
        taken in by Father Pete who ran the school for the blind."
            How fitting, I thought, and gave a smug smile.  I
        tried to get a word in, "You must have felt...."
            "Like a frog out of water?"  His smile broadened.
            Again I was reduced to silence as he continued his
        story.
            He'd studied to be a priest he told me, but no parish
        would have him.
            "That's when I met my wife, Belinda, you know."  He
        told me about his family, how in spite of their problems
        their love grew and blossomed, and filled his life with
        joy.
            And then later how they were all lost in a fire.
            He told me about abuses he'd suffered for that which
        he could not change, how he'd suffered and wandered and
        suffered some more.
            And all the time smiling with that sparkle in his
        eyes.
            How every one of his problems was surmounted and put
        to rest in the past, with faith and a prayer.
            I spent the afternoon listening to that man. Listening
        yes, and learning, too.
            At home I fought back the tears as I kissed my wife at
        the door, bent down and, still smiling, gave my daughter a
        big warm hug.
            True beauty, and yes, happiness, thanks to God, are
        always, always found on the inside.
                                          3



/data/webs/external/dokuwiki/data/pages/archive/stories/frogp.txt · Last modified: 2000/12/16 07:32 by 127.0.0.1

Was this page helpful?-10+1

Donate Powered by PHP Valid HTML5 Valid CSS Driven by DokuWiki