Fairy-Tale Files, published once weekly, feature three variations of a fairy tale chosen by one of Fairy Tale Review’s editors.
In one of the most widely-known fairy tales, the Frog Prince is befriended by a princess and later transforms into a handsome prince. Today, that transformation is most often the result of a kiss, but in the Grimm version’s, the princess threw the frog against a wall in disgust.
Recently, Richard Dawkins received a hefty dose of criticism for suggesting that fairy tales were perhaps harmful to children: “I think it’s rather pernicious to inculcate into a child a view of the world which includes supernaturalism — we get enough of that anyway. Even fairy tales, the ones we all love, with wizards or princesses turning into frogs or whatever it was. There’s a very interesting reason why a prince could not turn into a frog — it’s statistically too improbable.”
A prince being unwillingly transformed into a frog seems unlikely to Dawkins, but what if it’s the opposite—a frog who is unwillingly transformed into a prince? Earlier this year, The New Yorker featured a short Robert Coover retelling of the traditional tale: a frog-turned-prince who isn’t particularly happy about the transformation.
This edition of Fairy-Tale Files is brought to you by Fairy Tale Review Prose Editor Joel Hans.