Once upon a time in a far-off land lived an unpredictable, powerful, and bullheaded King who ruled the Kingdom of Sllub. His son, the Prince of the Kingdom, was the complete opposite of his father.
You see, the Prince was a kind, generous, strong, handsome, and gentle soul. In fact, the Prince was considered to be a real heartthrob of the Kingdom.
As for the Kingdom, it was a beautiful, pristine land with mountains to the North, an ocean to the East, farmland to the West, and a forest to the South. While the castle was located right in the center of the Kingdom, the King’s subjects tried their best to stay a considerable distance from his residence, avoiding him like the plague.
Naturally, the all-powerful King established the rules and laws to benefit and enrich himself. When encountering the King, his subjects were required to bow down to him and relinquished anything he asked for, such as a precious shell or stone, lovely woven fabric, or the sandals they wore.
Vocalizing was forbidden, an utterance punished by confinement in the dreadful dungeon. Unfortunately, there were subjects who never returned from the dungeon, and who were forever missed by their families. Living in constant fear, the Kingdom of Sllub wasn’t prospering.
With the King being so unpredictable, they never knew when the King would demand more taxes or that he would send them off to the dungeon. While mistreating his subjects, the King was very, very happy. In reality, he was the only happy person in the Kingdom.
Extremely miserable, the subjects felt helpless and hopeless. Never knowing what the King was going to demand next. Since there wasn’t a predetermined tax schedule, the King, when the mood hit him, demanded the knights go forth and collect more taxes. In addition to his subjects, the knights were beginning to be frustrated and displeased, too.
In the Northeastern area of the Kingdom lived a beautiful mature woman who was know for her teas, herbal medicines, which some people referred to as potions, and her pies. Behind her back, they would call her a witch. Edna was her name. She didn’t consider herself to be a witch but a wizardess. While she loathed the King, the King despised Edna.
After receiving word that the King planned to take over her land and that had been in her family for ages, Edna was furious. According to what she heard, the King was going to build another castle on the Northeastern side of the Kingdom precisely where Edna lived. With this news, Edna was spurred into action. No longer could she remain still and silent. Fear of the dreadful dungeon wasn’t a deterrent.
For several days, Edna worked on her plan. Collecting all the herbs and ingredients needed, she knew she had to set her plan into action. Conveniently, one of the King’s knights was traveling by her humble home.
Edna called to the knight, “Good afternoon! Can you do me a favor?”
The knight replied, “Yes! I can!” He asked, “What can I help you with?”
“A message to the Prince,” cooed Edna.
“What is the message?” quizzed the knight.
Edna replied, “Please, tell the Prince to meet me at the castle stables tomorrow night after the sun goes down.”
Upon receiving the message, the Prince was mystified. The kindly Prince was curious as to why Edna would want to meet him at the stables.
Meeting at the appointed day and time, Edna gave the Prince an individual pie and a special tea. The Prince was dumbfounded and graciously accepted Edna’s gift.
Of course, Edna commanded, “As it is an early Birthday gift, do not share your gift with anyone. Before the rooster crows, you must eat and drink your gift!”
Thanking Edna for the gift, the Prince returned to the castle. The next morning, following Edna's instructions, the Prince ate the pie and drank the tea. When finishing his meal, he heard banging and birds making an unusual sound. Investigating to see what was causing all the commotion, the Prince looked up to the darkened skies that were darker than ever seen before.
With a loud clap of thunder, the Prince is transformed into a raging bull. Because the Prince is kind and gentle, instead of a raging bull, he becomes a gentle bull. However, the subjects and the knights don’t realize that he is innocuous. In their minds, there is no such thing as a gentle bull.
In her heart, Edna believed that she was justified in punishing the bullheaded King, turning his son into a bull. Besides, she had other plans in the works.
Several days passed before the King realized that he hadn’t seen his son. So, he sent out his knights to locate the Prince. The knights searched every corner of the Kingdom. Nevertheless, the Prince could not be found. While the innocuous bull scared the subjects, the bull became increasingly depressed.
On the Western side of the Kingdom, a young girl lived with her parents and two older brothers. They built their home there and made pear wine. The young girl, Angela, was responsible for driving her cart around the Kingdom with barrels of their homebrew.
Six months after Edna turned the Prince into a bull, Angela was singing to herself as she drove the cart delivering the pear wine and bartering with the buyers.
Spotting something ahead of her, she slowed down to a snail’s pace. Cautiously, she moved closer to get a better look. Seeing an injured and sick bull on the right side of the path, Angela stopped.
In a dry, stony, gully, the bull had injured his leg when running away from a gang of children. Now, the hurt and sickly bull couldn’t move.
Without water, Angela did have the pear wine. Giving the pear wine to the bull, the liquid, all of eight ounces, revived him. Then, with a loud clap of thunder, the bull transformed back into the handsome Prince.
Naturally, Angela jumped back in total surprise and shock to see the handsome Prince in front of her smiling as brightly as the sun overhead. Indeed, the Prince was pleasantly surprised to see Angela who offered him a ride back to the castle.
On their first meeting, the Prince was smitten. Angela had strong feelings for the Prince, too. Dropping off the Prince at the castle, Angela continued her delivery of the pear wine barrels.
The following day, Angela was summoned to the castle. Since everyone avoided the castle, she was naturally hesitant. However, the Prince was there to greet her.
“Angela, please have dinner with us tonight?” asked the Prince.
“Who will be there?” she quizzed.
“It will be the three of us,” replied the Prince.
Angela sighed, “Okay, I’ll be there for you!”
That evening, Angela carried some pear wine with her as an after dinner drink. Thinking it would be a nice gesture, she hoped that the King would be pleased.
After dinner, the Prince made a toast, “Here’s to prosperity for the Kingdom!”
The King took one big gulp, drinking all of his wine. While Angela sipped her's, the Prince with his mug raised kept staring at Angela.
“SMASH!” “CRASH!” As the King fell, he coughed and moaned. Instantly, a cloud of smoke enveloped the King.
“Ribbit! Ribbit! Ribbit!” The Prince and Angela heard the frog.
Seeing the frog, they instinctively thought of Edna. While shaking their heads, “How could she?” they whispered.
Obviously, the King had been transformed into a little frog. Truly, no one would miss the bullheaded King. As it should be, the Prince became the King.
With the new King, the Kingdom of Sllub prospered, and they lived happily ever after!
About the Creator
Barbara J Iversen, also known as Babs Iverson, lives in Texas and loves her grandkids to the moon and back. After writing one story, she found that writing has many benefits especially during a pandemic and a Texas-size Arctic Blast.
Very well written. Keep up the good work!
Original narrative & well developed characters
Easy to read and follow
Well-structured & engaging content
Expert insights and opinions
Arguments were carefully researched and presented
Niche topic & fresh perspectives
Heartfelt and relatable
The story invoked strong personal emotions
On-point and relevant
Writing reflected the title & theme