|July 18, 2003
Copyright © 2003 PUERTO RICO HERALD. All Rights Reserved.
The Queen and the Ambassador
Once upon a time, there was a queen who ruled a country called Both Worlds. Her throne was in a large palace on a high hill. She loved her subjects. She called them "my people."
Also living in the kingdom was a group called The Powerful People. They were very rich and had once been friends of the Queen.
But one day The Powerful People decided that the Queen should not be queen anymore. They told her, "You should not be queen anymore." You should go to some beautiful place in your kingdom and rest." The Queen made a shocked face.
Then the Queen told her subjects, "I am tired of being queen. I am going to a beautiful place in this kingdom and rest." Then, she made a teary face.
Then The Powerful People said to her, "We think that "Son-of-the-Old-King" should be the new king." The Queen laughed.
The Powerful People asked the Queen, "Why are you laughing?" She told them, "I thought that you wanted me to name Truculent Ambassador to be the next ruler of my people. He has displeased me and I shall never see him sitting on my throne." The Powerful People then said, "No, No, No, Never Him, NEVER Truculent Ambassador!"
When Truculent Ambassador heard that he was not to be the next ruler of Both Worlds, he put on an angry face. He said he would never go close to the Queen again. He said that he didnt like Son-of-the-Old-King. They had once jousted for the Queens favor. Even though he had bested Son-of-the-Old-King in combat, the Queen had not rewarded his chivalry with her smile.
But then, to the surprise of the entire kingdom, Son-of-the-Old-King said that he couldnt be the new king. He said that his son, "Grandson-of-the-Old-King," was sick. He made a sad face and then he said "Goodbye."
When the Queen heard this news she was upset. She made a sick face. She summoned The Powerful People and told them, "Son-of-the-Old-King has deceived you and me. Now Truculent Ambassador will want to be the new king and I will not stand for it." The Queen told The Powerful People that they must search the entire kingdom to find another to be the new king.
Then she took off her slipper and placed it on a silk pillow. "Whoever would be the next ruler of my people must fit into my slipper. If you cannot find this person I will not go to a beautiful place in my kingdom to rest. I will remain on this throne forever." The Powerful People made confused faces. They took the slipper and they left the Queen, bowing as they departed.
The Queen summoned her caterers and said to them, "I wish to have a banquet. I will invite The Powerful People and we will celebrate. They will never find someone who fits into my slipper and I shall be queen forever. We will eat, drink, sing and dance and we will live happily ever after." The caterers made contented faces and they left her, bowing as they departed.
On the night of the feast, the Queen was radiant. She knew that none would be found to fit into her slipper and so she would be queen forever. The Powerful People with one voice would say to her, "Your Majesty, you must remain on the throne. You will be queen forever."
As she was imagining this, the guests began to arrive.
First to enter the hall were The Powerful People. They were announced, bowed to the Queen and took their seats. Next came in other guests, bowing to the Queen and taking their seats. The Queen was happy because she saw that no one was carrying the pillow with her slipper. She then ordered the palace guards to close the doors, but just as they were swinging shut, a man hurried in carrying a small box. He bowed low and moved in the Queens direction.
The man was disheveled, looking as if he had just emerged from a marsh. He tracked mud onto the golden carpet as he drew nearer the Queen. All the guests shouted, "WHO IS IT?" As the man continued forward, The Powerful People roared, "PUT HIM OUT!" As the man came closer, the Queen recognized the wretch and called him by name. "Flats," she cried, what are you doing here? Why are you in such a condition and what is in that box?"
Haltingly, Flats, who was the Queens friend and had always been loyal to her, began to tell his story. "Your Majesty, it is I, Flats, the man to whom you promised this kingdom should you ever leave your throne. When The Powerful People learned of this, they pummeled me and had me thrown into a swamp, leaving me to drown. I would have done so had it not been for the Frog People, who rescued me and bade me carry this message to you."
"What message?" asked the Queen.
Quickly, The Powerful People and guests moved closer to hear the message that Flats had for the Queen.
"Your Majesty," Flats began, "the Frog People put one of their own into this box and bade me convey it to you. The little creatures name is Coqui, and it has magical powers. It is prophesized that, if the Queen kisses Coqui, it will take on the body of the next monarch. I beg you to kiss it and I pray that, when you do, it will be I that becomes splendid before you and that these rags will turn into robes of scarlet. Then The Powerful People will know that it is I who am destined to be the next king."
"I WILL NOT KISS A FROG," the Queen roared.
"But Your Majesty," pleaded Flats, "this is no ordinary frog. Coqui holds the power to break the grip of The Powerful People over the destiny of Both Worlds. Besides, it is a very small frog and a very clean frog. Your gentlest kiss can change the course of history."
The Powerful People began to clamor, "Throw this man out! Your Majesty, do not kiss the frog. It is disgusting!"
Seeing how much opposed were The Powerful People to her kissing Coqui, the Queen, in defiance, took the box from Flats and opened it. Placing the little creature in the palm of her hand, she drew it slowly to her lips.
Pandemonium seized the hall as guests witnessed the scene. Shouts were heard. "This cannot be." "This is outrageous." "Your Majesty, dont do it!" "Do not, do not, do not!"
As the Queens lips met the cold shiny head of the tiny amphibian, a hush came over the assemblage. Then, as the royal lips began to pucker, some in the hall fainted. Flats, his head buried in his hands, began to quiver. As the Queen closed her eyes to consummate the loving gesture, many fled the room, overturning tables in their rush to avoid witnessing the unnatural act.
Then, with a sound resembling a gentle lisp, the deed was done. Coqui had received the kiss of a Queen.
At first, nothing happened. But then, slowly at first, Coqui began to metamorphize into the shape of a man. Those remaining in the hall were transfixed. The Queen was in ecstasy as she witnessed a human form emerging, a form that would become her heir-to-the-throne of Both Worlds.
As facial features took shape, it was the remaining members of The Powerful People that first bellowed out in shock. When Flats saw the visage take shape, he collapsed to the floor, moaning.
Then, fully formed, the Coqui-turned-man wheeled to face the Queen.
The Queen was speechless. Then, before she could utter a word, the frog-turned-heir-to-the-throne spoke. "Good evening, Your Majesty. It is I, your faithful and loving ambassador. I am at your service."
Then, after Flats was removed from the hall on a litter, and all the guests were gone, the Queen placed her hands into those of the frog-turned-man. She said to him, "From this day forward, you will bear a new name. From now on, the people of Both Worlds will know you as "Serene Ambassador." You will be my heir-to-the-throne.
After that night, The Powerful People were never again seen at the palace. The people of Both Worlds were happy for the Queen and for Serene Ambassador and everyone lived happily ever after.
Herald Readers! Do you think that the Queen and the Ambassador will remain friendly and that they will live happily ever after? Please vote above.