Frog Story VO

By Penelope Puddlepond

Once upon a time, long before this place was even Paris, there lived a princess. Lazy, self-indulgent and utterly unlikeable, Princess Pénibilité treated her loyal subjects without kindness or compassion. 

Her cruelty was legendary, as was her terrible greed.The princess fancied herself as something of a gourmette. She roamed the kitchens of her father's kingdom with a golden fork, helping herself to whatever took her fancy. A delicate pastry cooked for a poor girl's wedding. The perfect parsnip saved for a lowly clerk's Christmas. A child's precious goldfish scooped straight from the bowl. When the princess was at large, everyone locked their pantries. But Princess Pénibilité had a nose for the delicious and nothing good escaped her maw for long.

Now, at the edge of the palace garden there was a pond. And in that pond lived a frog named Macéo. Macéo was a kind and clever frog. He liked to look after himself - mostly swimming and pilates - and he was exceptionally proud of his finely muscled legs.

Malheureusementfor Macéo, Princess Pénibilité had recently heard from her royal cousins in the barbarous north that deep fried frogs' legs were quite the thing. Never one to miss a culinary trend, Princess P took her fork and headed straight for the palace pool.

As soon as she saw Macéo, Princess P made a stab at him, sending the bewildered amphibian diving straight for the bottom of the water. Phew. She missed him. But Macéo was not a fish and he had to come up for air at some point. He knew that when he did, Pénibilité would be waiting for him, fork in hand. So he took a risk and rose. And when she went for him again he yelled :

‘Ma chère princesse! You don't want to eat frog's legs. They're slimy and skinny and hardly worth the bother. If you give me your fork, I will dive to the bottom of the pond and bring you back a morsel fit for the gods.'

The princess paused. Her fork hovered.

‘What is this morsel?’ Princess P asked.

‘It’s something so rare and wonderful, it truly defies description,’ Macéo said. ‘Only someone with so fine a palate as yours could find the words to describe such a delight.’

Princess P was intrigued. She handed the golden fork over, expecting the meal of her life.

Whereupon Macéo the frog stabbed Princess Pénibilité straight in the toe, causing her to lose her footing and fall headlong into the drink.  She was never seen again.

The kingdom rejoiced.  Macéo kept the Princess’s fork, just in case. And her crown. Well, why not ?

Centuries later, frogs still play in the fountains built on the site of the old pond, in what is now the Jardin du Palais Royal. You definitely won’t find them on the menu at Macéo, though you will find a whole host of vegetarian delights - indeed most worthy of our frog’s golden fork. 

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