Once upon a time, there was a princess. She kissed quite a few toads looking for a prince. But none of them ever turned into a handsome prince. Some of them stayed toads. And some of them turned into common villagers. And some of them looked like princes, but were really still toads. And many of them tried to make the princess feel like she was slimey, or green, or smelly just to make themselves feel better about their toadness.
One day, the princess met a prince. She was scared to kiss him because she was afraid if none of those toads turned into princes, then maybe this prince would turn into a toad. But he courted her with his princely ways and she became very smitten with him. And one day she realized, he was never going to turn into a toad. And the prince and the princess were married.
But they didn’t just live happily ever after. They had many, many battles they fought. Some were silly battles, like what type of carriage they should have the horses pull. Some were necessary battles, that helped them figure out how they were going to fulfill their prince and princess duties while still being in love. And some were epic battles.
There were battles against evil rulers, who tried to hurt the princess, while trying to gain favor with the prince. There were battles over loyalties and land and honor. Sometimes the princess felt like she was battling whole villages and a slew of dragons all by herself. Sometimes she felt like she was losing the battle, and the kingdom was lost forever.
But then the prince appeared beside her, with sword and shield in hand. She realized the battle was not lost, and she was not alone. For the prince, while fighting hard, was fighting to protect the kingdom. Just as she was. And as long as they ruled the kingdom together, the evil rulers and dragons would never win.
One day the princess woke up and realized happily ever after was boring, and shallow, and a little too easy for someone like her. Epic battles, while tiring and wrought with fear, created strong rulers. Ones who learned to trust each other, and to cherish the kingdom they fought so hard for. She might be battle scarred, but her happiness was earned.
Happy Valentine’s Day, my prince.