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The Prince of the Pond Takes a Wife

"Part 2 of The Prince of the Pond"
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As the gate to the castle came near, Lucinda tore her eyes away from the prince. Partly in fear and curiosity of what lay beyond, Lucinda let out a gasp at the beauty of what lay before her.

She turned to Cal and asked, “Is this real?”

Cal smiled down at her and said, “Yes Lucinda, it is very real.”

“Oh my, it's so grand, I just don't know if I belong.”

Cal: “Lucinda of course you belong, I invited you.”

Lucinda: “But Cal this is just so overwhelming, I'm just not sure I will ever get used to the beauty of my surroundings.”

Cal: “Oh Lucinda, your beauty surpasses that of all my kingdom.”

Lucinda: “Cal, stop you're making me blush. I'm just an unsophisticated country frog girl.”

Cal let out a hearty laugh at this. Smiling down at Lucinda, he leaned in closer and kissed her full on the lips. The kiss rocked Lucinda to the core and her arms made their way around Cal's neck, pulling him closer.

Suddenly the procession came to a halt. Cal broke the kiss, and stood up, pulling Lucinda with him. Before the pair stood the mighty king and his queen.

Remembering her manners, Lucinda quickly dropped into a curtsy.

King: “Cal, why have you opened the gates and who might this young girl be?”

Cal: “Father, please forgive me, but I just had to see what lay on the other side. And mother, father, this is Lucinda, the frog girl of my dreams. The one I plan on marrying, if she'll have me, and you will allow me.”

Queen: “Lucinda, please rise. Let me get a good look at you. Son I can see why you like her. She is very stunning, but she is below your station. How do we know she can make a suitable match?”

Cal: “Mother, as soon as I saw her, I was taken by her beauty, but more importantly, when I touch her, I see sparks and I know in my heart, that she is the one for me. Just like father knew, you were the one for him.”

Queen: “Well son, let us show Lucinda around, so that we may get to know her and her family better.”

Cal: “Oh, thank you mother. I know you will come to love her as much as I do.”

Lucinda stood there in awe, having lost her voice, and nerve. She let out a small croak, as she crumpled to the ground. Cal's strong arms wrapped around her.

Breaking her fall, he scooped her up into his arms and headed to the healers wing. Her parents followed in his wake, worried for her safety. For they too had heard the stories of no one returning from beyond the thistle.

Martha: “Young prince, where are you taking my daughter? Please, I beg of you do not hurt my baby girl.”

Henry: “Martha, stop worrying you'll get yourself in a tizzy and end up in a faint like Lucinda.”

Just then Cal stopped and a huge door swung open. The prince entered and lay Lucinda down upon the bed in the corner. A strange looking frog moved close to examine her. She did not speak as she set about her task.

Martha: “Old crone, what are you doing here? The rest of the pond thought you dead. No one ever comes back from beyond the thistle.”

The crone stood just then and looked back at Martha, a slow smile spreading across her weathered old face.

“Daughter, you're looking well, have you had a look around? Do you not see the beauty and good on this side of the thistle? If given a choice would you truly desire to go back?”

Martha: “I don't know, I have not really looked around. Everything has happened so quickly. And what of all my belongings and the friends I would leave behind. They would think me dead as well.”

Old Crone: “When I left you had just given birth. I remember bringing Lucinda into the world. You and Henry were so excited and I knew that you would be wonderful parents. I also knew you didn't want some meddling old crone to get in the way.”

Martha: “But mother we wanted you to see your granddaughter grow up. She's head strong and willful. But brave and beautiful, you have missed out on so much. And I have missed having you around.”

Queen: “Old crone, how is our young patient.”

Old Crone: “My queen, she will be just fine. Her nerves got the best of her. Let's leave her rest for a bit while dinner is prepared.”

Queen: “Martha is it? Shall we walk while we wait for dinner?”

Martha: “Yes my queen, I, I would enjoy that.”

The queen took Martha by the hand and led her out to the garden. They chatted about everyday things. Soon Martha was at ease and was telling the queen all she knew. The beauty of the pond was not lost on Martha.

In the far corner there was a waterfall, that cascaded down into a large pond surrounded by a low bank full of flowers and a small strip of sand that acted as a pathway. Cattails grew alongside bamboo poles, as well as the lilies, and a vibrantly smashing array of other wildflowers. The castle was nestled into the thick trunk of a mighty oak. A well guarded pathway led to the front doors. The lawn was lush and green, a smattering of forest animals lingered there. Martha was beginning to see why no one wanted to return to the other side of the gate. But Martha couldn't help but feel a longing for her little home, and friends.

Back at the castle, the king stood and watched, as the ladies left the room, never taking his eyes off his lovely wife. Henry watched the king from his spot along the wall. He was trying to blend in, but all to soon, he would realize there was nowhere to hide. For the king was aware of everything. After the ladies left, the king approached Henry. Henry tried to shrink into the background, but to no avail. The king laughed and bade Henry to follow him out to the balcony. What could Henry do, but follow. As they exited, he caught sight of the waterfall and pond below. It truly was a sight to behold. He wondered, what his life would be like if he stayed here and never returned home. Would it be blissful and happy, or would he still have to struggle to feed his family?

King: “Henry, what do you think of this union. Is it something you could agree to? We know you are not a wealthy family, and there is the matter of a dowry. But if my son is truly like me, he will not care. My wife came from the other side of the pond as well. It was love at first sight, much like my son and your daughter. I know you will have much to discuss with Martha and Lucinda. After dinner, we will set you up in rooms.”

Henry: “You're right sir, this is more than I ever expected, but my daughter is much like her mother, headstrong and full of fight. She will not let you or I stand in her way, if this is truly what she wants. And if the way she looked at your son is any indication, we will be having a wedding very soon. If you will excuse me, I'd like to check on my daughter now.”

King: “Of course. I will accompany you.”

The king and Henry stopped in the doorway to find the prince and Lucinda were holding hands, talking in hushed tones.

Cal: “Lucinda, I want you to be my wife, will you marry me and be mine forever.”

Lucinda: “Oh Cal, I would love to, but what will our parents say? Mine will be worried that I'm too young and I don't know you. But, Cal, even though we just met I know in my heart that you're the only frog for me.”

Cal: “Lucinda, we will tell our parents that we will be married, no matter what they say. We must follow our hearts, it's what my mother always says to me, when I'm worried about a new adventure.”

Old Crone: “My king, Henry, Lucinda is doing well and can join you for dinner if it is ready.”

King: “That is good to hear, dinner will be set in a few minutes. I will leave you to get ready.”

Cal: “Father, may I have a word with you please?”

King: “Come, walk with Henry and I to the dining hall.”

Cal: “Yes sir. I wish to marry Lucinda and she wishes to marry me. We would like both of your blessings.”

Henry: “Well son, it looks like the ladies have a wedding to plan. I'm not so sure it would be wise to say no, where matters of the heart lie.”

Cal: “Father, what do you say?”

King: “We best tell your mother at dinner. You know how she gets, when she is kept in the dark. When will you and Lucinda like to wed?”

Cal: “I don't know. I best run and ask her. Thank you both! See you in the dinning hall.”

As Cal ran back to Lucinda, the king and Henry ran into the queen, and Martha. Both men took their wives' hand and walked into the dining hall. The queen announced dinner and all guests were seated. The prince and Lucinda walked in and the hall fell silent. Before them stood the future queen and the prince who loved her. The Old Crone dressed her in a light red velvet gown, her bonnet and sash were etched with silver inlays. Her dark green skin shone brightly as all eyes fell upon her.

The prince led Lucinda to the head of the table, and before sitting down, he introduced her to the whole group as his fiance. The congratulations came pouring in from his friends and family. Lucinda just couldn't believe all her good fortune. The king and queen asked, when they would like to get married. Lucinda and Cal answered at the same time, Saturday at 1. The dinner party finished up, and the ladies sat late into the night making plans.

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