Parable of the Hopeful Princess
This parable is dedicated to
all good women who
marry good men.
Once upon a time there was a beautiful Princess. But she wanted to be more than just a beautiful Princess; she wanted to be a beautiful married Princess. However, to find a worthy Prince who was righteous and pure, she needed to live a righteous and pure life herself, which she did. But she wasn’t entirely happy because she was always focused on the future instead of enjoying the present moment.
Each day, the Princess would go outside and look in her magic mirror, which was called “The Mirror of Eternal Life.” There she would gaze at her beautiful, righteous and pure reflection. She would then humbly and gratefully thank the Lord that she was so beautiful, righteous, and pure.
One of her faults however, was that she was a wee bit vain and prideful...
Each day, as she had done every day for as long as she could remember, she would ask that most important question:
“Mirror, Mirror of Eternal Life, when will I become a wife?”
Each day, the Mirror of Eternal Life would answer the same way:
“Be patient, dear Princess, and one day you’ll see the Prince of your dreams reflected in me.”
The Princess did not know exactly what that meant, but, having a great deal of faith, she decided to put her trust in the words of the Mirror of Eternal Life.
One day, when the Princess felt as though her very heart would break if she could not find a worthy Prince who would marry her, she went and gazed sadly into the Mirror of Eternal Life and asked that same, familiar question:
“Mirror, Mirror of Eternal Life, when will I become a wife?”
This time the Mirror of Eternal Life gave her a different answer—the answer that she’d been waiting to hear all her life! The Mirror of Eternal Life sweetly and solemnly said to her:
“Today you will see as you look in me, the Prince of your dreams for time and eternity.”
As soon as the Mirror of Eternal Life had spoken these prophetic words, the image of the most handsome Prince the Princess had ever seen joined her beautiful reflection in the Mirror of Eternal Life. She could see that he was a worthy Prince for his countenance was just as righteous and pure as hers had always been.
When the Princess and the Prince saw each other’s reflection in the Mirror of Eternal Life, they were both overcome with joy. They obliviously fell into each other’s arms and wept with gratitude because they knew their life-long prayers had finally been answered. Soon they were married.
The morning after the wedding, the beautiful Princess slowly opened her eyes as she enjoyed the sleepy-warm comfort of her marriage bed. She then quietly rolled over so she could gaze upon her handsome Prince.
To her horror, sleeping in her bed was not the handsome Prince that she was expecting to see, but an ordinary Toad—and not a very good-looking one at that! Not being the type of girl who had ever cared for Toads in the first place, or would ever invite one into her bed, especially her marriage bed, she let out a blood-curdling shriek!
The shriek, of course, awakened the Toad, and he began to speak to the Princess in a sleepy sort of way, but his eyes were still not opened yet. Calmly and quietly, he asked her why she was shrieking so early in the morning.
When the Princess heard the Toad speaking to her, she began to shriek even louder. Not only was it very distressing for the Princess to have the Toad speaking to her in the first place, but he was speaking with the voice of her Prince whom she had married the day before.
After shrieking and crying hysterically for several minutes, the Princess finally got in control of herself and demanded that the Toad get out of her bed that very moment. She also demanded that he tell her where her handsome Prince had gone.
The Toad tiredly sat up on the edge of the bed without opening his eyes. Feeling groggy and completely confused he said, “But, I am your Prince!”
The Princess, in her rage and agony, shouted at him hysterically, “How dare you lie to me. I am a Princess and you are nothing but a Toad. Tell me where my Prince has gone!”
The shouting of the Princess completely startled the Toad. He quickly opened his eyes and looked down at himself and said, “Well, I’ll be . . . how did that happen . . . that’s sure funny!” He patted himself all over with his hands and, in complete disbelief without even looking at the Princess, he exclaimed, “Oh, honorable Princess, you are so right. I am just a Toad! But how could this be? I’ve always thought of myself as a Prince!”
By this time, the Toad was fully awake and for the first time that morning, he looked across the bed at where his Princess should have been sitting. What he saw, he simply could not believe!
There, sitting on the bed, was not the beautiful Princess he had married the day before, but a rather ordinary-looking female Toad who looked quite similar to himself, except for the fact that she was wearing a lovely, long, white shimmering nightgown. Also, out of the female Toad’s mouth was coming the voice that belonged to his beautiful Princess!
Now, the Toad, being a very polite male Toad, did not want to offend this female Toad in his bed. Because of his good upbringing, he chose not to just blurt out and say, “Well, you’re a Toad, too!” Instead, he just did as the Princess had demanded of him.
He hurriedly hopped off the bed and quietly sat in the far corner of the honeymoon suite. Sadly, he watched as the room started quickly filling up with water from the tears of the terrified, humiliated Princess.
The Princess cried and cried for so long that she could finally cry no more. Then she realized that her bed was floating like a raft around and around in circles in her tear-filled honeymoon suite, which had now become a Sea of Despair.
As the first rays of the morning sun shone through the large windows of her room, it made the water appear as a mirror of glass. As she caught a reflection of her own tear-stained face, she felt completely mortified. In disbelief, she saw that she was no longer a beautiful Princess, but another Toad. Yes! She was just an ordinary Toad! In fact, she was quite similar looking to the other Toad in the room, except her eyes were quite red and puffy from all that crying.
“Oh, what has happened to me? What has happened to me?” wailed the Princess.
“Oh, it must be his fault,” she thought angrily to herself.
She glanced sullenly at the still-confused-looking Toad sitting in the corner. “He has turned me into another Toad just like himself. How disgusting! How degrading! How depressing!”
With all those negative thoughts running through her head, she leaped off her bed into her Sea of Despair, hoping that she could end this nightmare by ending her life.
But, being a Toad, she lived.
Now the Toad-Prince (yes, he really was still a Prince) swam over to the Toad-Princess (who didn’t feel much like a Princess anymore) and asked if he could be of any assistance to her.
Of course, the Toad-Princess refused to even talk to this thing that she perceived had caused her to fall to this disgrace. She simply swam to the other corner of the room to be as far away from the Toad-Prince as possible.
Truthfully, the Toad-Prince didn’t like knowing he was a Toad any more than the Toad-Princess liked knowing she was a Toad. In fact, he was somewhat depressed himself. However, he decided to be very logical about the whole situation and came up with what he thought was a brilliant idea.
He said to himself, “If I have to be a Toad, and she has to be a Toad, then why shouldn’t the two of us just be Toads together instead of just sitting in opposite corners feeling lonely?”
When the Toad-Prince swam over and approached the Toad-Princess with his common-sense idea, she angrily refused his invitation. While crying more tears, the Toad-Princess shouted, “If I can’t be changed back into a Princess this very minute, and have my Prince brought back this very minute, then I don’t want to do anything at all.”
So, the Toad-Prince swam sadly back to his corner of the honeymoon suite. There he sat and quietly cried, adding his tears to the Sea of Despair. The Toad-Prince felt very, very lonely. Even though he now knew he was only just a Toad, he wanted desperately to be loved.
Many months passed by with the Toad-Princess angrily sitting in her corner of the honeymoon suite and the Toad-Prince sadly sitting in his corner. Neither of them knew what to do.
Then one day, the Toad-Princess suddenly had a flash of inspiration. She said to herself, “I must get out of this miserable honeymoon suite and go find the Mirror of Eternal Life. Surely it can tell me why this horrible fate has befallen me and how to get out of my Sea of Despair.”
So, she swam to the large, ornately-carved door of the honeymoon suite and leaped out of the water several times until she was finally able to unlock the difficult lock and open the door. The flood of tears that the Toad-Princess and the Toad-Prince had shed together for months in the Sea of Despair rushed through the halls. The water quickly carried not only her, but the Toad-Prince as well, out of the unhappy honeymoon suite.
They landed outdoors on the spacious green lawn, which was surrounded by a huge, gorgeous, blossoming flower garden and tall, majestic, evergreen trees.
The Toad-Princess slowly picked herself up and shook the remaining tears off her lovely, long, white, shimmering nightgown. Dismayed, she looked up to see the Toad-Prince standing there beside her. He was also shaking the tears off his soft, silky, baby-blue pajamas.
She was very annoyed at having him there beside her, but she was now too tired to even care. She was simply worn out from all those months of crying and, truthfully, she was feeling very lonely herself.
When the Toad-Prince asked her where she was going and if he might come along, she gave him a reluctant, “Yes.”
So, the Toad-Princess and the Toad-Prince began hopping down the winding road of life together. They both began earnestly searching for the Mirror of Eternal Life. It wasn’t too long before it came into view because it was standing there shining brilliantly from the reflection of the happy morning sun.
The Toad-Prince was the first one to notice it because the Toad-Princess was so emotionally distraught that she could not see it yet through her heartache and tear-filled eyes. The Toad-Prince excitedly grabbed her arm and said, “Look! There it is! There is the Mirror of Eternal Life!”
When the Toad-Princess refused to look in the direction he was pointing, the Toad-Prince finally took her by the shoulders and gently turned her around and said, “Look, Honorable Princess, please look! It’s right there in front of you.”
The Toad-Princess blinked her eyes several times in disbelief and exclaimed, “Oh, it is really there! Oh, thank you! Thank you, Toad!”
She didn’t call him “Toad-Prince” because she didn’t know he was still a Prince.
Gratefully, she continued, “I am so happy that you could help me find the Mirror of Eternal Life! You know, you really are a very nice Toad, as far as Toads go, of course.”
The Toad-Prince humbly replied, “You’re welcome, Honorable Princess.”
He didn’t want to call her “Toad-Princess” because he didn’t want to hurt her feelings by reminding her that she was a Toad, also.
The Toad Prince was just content that he had finally done something that she could appreciate after all those months. It gave him hope that they could still somehow learn to be friends.
The Toad-Princess ran quickly forward and looked in the Mirror of Eternal Life. Much to her surprise, she did not see the image of herself looking like a Toad that she had seen reflected in her Sea of Despair for so many months. Instead, she saw the same beautiful, righteous, and pure Princess that she had always seen in the Mirror of Eternal Life.
Then, to her even greater surprise, standing beside her was the worthy Prince whom she had married months before. “Oh, my Prince!” she cried as she lunged towards the Mirror of Eternal Life to embrace him.
She was so overcome with joy and love from seeing her Prince again that she didn’t realize until her head hit the hard glass of the Mirror of Eternal Life that it was just the reflection of her Prince she was seeing; it was not really him. “Oh, no!” she cried in great physical and emotional pain. “My Prince! My Prince! Where are you?”
“I am right here!” said the voice of her Prince.
The Toad-Princess turned and looked in great anticipation fully expecting to see her Prince. To her great disappointment, the only one she could see was the Toad-Prince once again. “You are not my Prince!” She cried angrily. “You are only a Toad! Do not ever mock me again!”
“Honorable Princess,” the Toad-Prince replied, “I know when I look down at myself, I am a Toad. But, when I stand beside you and look in the Mirror of Eternal Life, I appear to be a worthy Prince. So, you tell me. Who am I? Am I a Toad, or am I a Prince?”
The Toad-Princess sat deep in thought and pondered his questions for over an hour.
She knew what the Toad-Prince had said was the truth. She could now see it for herself. When she looked at him with her own eyes as he stood there beside her, he was definitely a Toad, as was she. However, when she looked at his reflection in the Mirror of Eternal Life, there stood the Prince of her dreams.
After much soul-searching, meditation, and prayer, the Toad-Princess finally gave the Toad-Prince an answer. Humbly and wisely she softly spoke to him and said, “You, my dear man, are both a Toad and a Prince.”
Then the Toad-Princess started to cry. But these tears were different from the ones she had been crying for those many months. These tears were tears of simple humility and acceptance. “And I . . . ,” she quietly admitted, “. . . I can finally see that I am also nothing but a Toad. But, when I look in the Mirror of Eternal Life, I can still see the Princess that I always thought I was. How can this be so?”
The Mirror of Eternal Life answered her question by saying simply:
“We all start out as Toads in life. There is no perfect husband or wife. To gain a Prince and wedded bliss, love your Toad and give him a kiss.”
The Toad-Princess decided to take the risk and follow the advice of the Mirror of Eternal Life. She knew the mirror had always spoken the truth to her before, and she felt she could trust it again this time. So, she gave the Toad-Prince a kiss.
It was not a very good kiss, nor a very long kiss, but nevertheless, it was still a kiss!
To her great disappointment, after she kissed him, he was still just the same ordinary Toad!
She had thought because of all the fairy-tales she had read as a child that he would have been transformed into the Prince of her dreams immediately!
The Toad-Princess decided not to let this major disappointment get her down this time because she was a very persistent Toad-Princess, who also had a great deal of faith. So, the Toad-Princess began kissing her Toad-Prince (yes, she now really believed he was a Prince!) dozens of times every morning, noon, and night. Sometimes she would even kiss him during the night when she woke up and couldn’t go back to sleep!
Then, after 77 years, 7 months, 7 days, and approximately 777 trillion kisses later (she wasn’t sure of the exact number because every time she would kiss him, he would kiss her back, and it was so wonderful that sometimes she would forget to keep counting) an amazing thing happened!
One night when the Toad-Princess went to find her beloved Toad-Prince (because he really was beloved by her now) to give him a kiss goodnight, she could not find him anywhere—he seemed to have disappeared!
Yes, the Toad-Prince had disappeared. In his place stood the Prince of her dreams in all his glory—worthy, handsome, righteous, and pure. To her further surprise, when she glanced at the bedroom mirror she realized she was no longer a Toad-Princess either. The beautiful, righteous, and pure Princess she had always envisioned herself to be had finally become a reality.
The Princess and Prince stared lovingly into each other’s eyes and then went outside to gaze into the Mirror of Eternal Life together. The Mirror of Eternal Life spoke to the Princess one last time and tenderly said:
“Your love for your husband through thick and thin has saved you from weeping for what might have been.”
That night, the Princess and her Prince both died peacefully in their sleep and went up to Heaven together.
People never knew whether they died from old age or all that kissing!
As they walked through those Pearly Gates, they each received their long-awaited Crowns of Glory. They had now become the eternal Princess and eternal Prince they had always wanted to be.
Before the Princess joined her Prince in their Heavenly Mansion, which had been prepared for them up above, she stopped to whisper a special prayer. This prayer was one which she hoped would sink deep into the hearts of all her Toad-Princess daughters, granddaughters, and great-granddaughters as they continued their struggles during their earth-life experiences. The special prayer that she whispered was that each of her descendants would always remember the words that the Mirror of Eternal Life had spoken to her so many long years ago:
“We all start out as Toads in life. There is no perfect husband or wire. To gain a Prince and wedded bliss, love your Toad and give him a kiss!”
Now she knew for a surety that the Mirror of Eternal Life had spoken the truth. Yes, it was all true. Marriage requires pure, faithful, consistent, binding, eternal love and affection.
The Princess then ran up the front steps and joined her Prince at their Eternal Mansion.
Joyfully, he lifted her up and carried her across the threshold of their front door. Then she kissed him. (Of course!) But, this was not just an ordinary kiss. This was a forever kiss—truly a forever kiss!
The words of Jesus Christ to His followers:
“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you.
I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again,
and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”
—John 14: 1-3
“And when the chief Shepherd shall appear,
ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.”
—1 Peter 5:4
“And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.”
—1 John 2: 25
Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman,
neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.
—1 Corinthians 11: 11