simple as kisses
People say he used to be a prince. Probably because it seems appropriate and romantic, traditional for tales about frogs.
Neighborhood girls dare each other to creep through the brush into the yard, to tangle the ropes of his swing or kiss the top of his green, frozen head. They run off in screaming giggles, leaving him alone with his sorrow and no way to right himself.
The rules are not as simple as kisses, not these days.
He is part of neighborhood folklore now, the Prince on his swing. One Hallowe’en someone placed a paper crown on his head but it would not stay, carried off in a rush of midnight leaves by a cold November wind.
But he was never a prince. Just a boy. A stupid, stupid boy.
About flax-golden tales. Photo by Carey Farrell. Text by Erin Morgenstern