The Toad King
Once upon a time, there was a great Toad-King. He ate his wife and she landed in his belly. She was so angry that she took to beating the walls of his stomach, which bothered him greatly. The Toad-King called the Toad- Doctor, but no medicine that the Toad-Doctor gave him could stop her from beating upon the walls of her jail.
The Toad King sent out a royal proclamation offering the best lily-pad and the juiciest flies to anyone who could stop his wife from beating him from within.
The best musicians and singers came from all over the pond. One Frog-Singer sang her a beautiful song called ‘please stop hurting your husband’, but her beatings from within only got worse. A renowned Toad-Storyteller told her a bedtime story that had worked like a charm on his spawn, but the Toad-King’s wife refused to be cajoled.
Finally, the Toad-King could take it no more. He began beating his own stomach and she beat back and, before long, the Toad-King was dead. The wife crawled upward, out of his stomach, up his throat and tumbled out of his mouth to land with a plop on his gilded lily-pad.
When she saw what she had done, she let out a terrible cry of despair because she had loved him and hadn’t meant to hurt him. She had only been angry. She cried for three days and then a big juicy fly came by and her tongue shot out and she gobbled up the juicy fly — and it tasted good.
She looked around and saw that the lily-pad kingdom had no king. She took the king’s crown from her darling king’s rotting head and plopped it on her own head.
“I am the Toad-Queen. Bury the Toad-King and bring me more flies.”
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