Rosie Paige, six, of Moonbeam ON, learnt a harsh lesson last Tuesday when the youngster kissed a frog in hopes of landing her prince. Instead, she was diagnosed with salmonella poisoning.
“Miss [Alexis] Wormwood, my [grade one] teacher, read us a story about a poor girl who was walking through the forest one day and found a frog,” tells the girl, in between bouts of vomiting. “She kissed it, and it turned into a prince and she became a princess! I want to be a princess too, so I went into the forest behind my grade school and looked for my prince. I found a frog and kissed him, but nothing happened. So I kissed him again and again, but I guess it was a girl frog because she didn’t turn into a prince. I went home after that and the next day I was all hot and sore and I have to poop a lot.”
Paige’s mother, Martha, is livid that “schools are spreading information with the intent on causing illness to our children. What kind of society,” she continues, “do we live in where some sick person, ESPECIALLY one that works with children, spreads these kinds of urban legends where you can become a princess simply by kissing a frog? Don’t think that that Miss Wormwood won’t be hearing from my lawyers.” Martha then excused herself to go clean her daughter’s soiled bedsheets.
Wormwood, 32, is perplexed that Paige could have developed salmonella poisoning simply by kissing a frog. “I’m no biology major, but you don’t usually get that sick from pressing your lips to a frog. I don’t know why you’d want to anyway,” Wormwood continues, “when you could meet your prince by finding a beast who was enchanted by a witch and would become human again by finding his true love before an enchanted rose wilts?” Wormwood then fell into a swoon.
The Paige family’s lawyer, Ronald L. Barr, is extremely interested in trying this case. “The Brothers Grimm have for far too long spread false pieces of information about animals and their activities. I have studied their so-called events and have discovered that not only do they tell little girls that they can find their prince if they kiss a frog, but that step-mothers are wicked and make you sleep in the ashes, a little man will turn straw into gold for you if you give him your first child, but if you guess his name the deal is off, and that wolves will eat your rural-living grandmother if you go to visit her. These men loved telling lies to children. I hope they’re paying for their sins in the afterlife.” The frog in question offered no comments.
Laurentian University biology professor F. F. Mallory is also interested in the case. “Strains of salmonella are most commonly found in eggs and meat. Unless that frog was a mother and had several infected eggs on her when Rosie kissed her, I think it would be almost impossible for Rosie to be ill with this infection simply by kissing a frog. Furthermore,” Mallory continued, “Wolves do not possess the ability to swallow a human whole, and the human in question would certainly not be alive when the hunter freed her from the wolf’s stomach. The digestion process would already have kicked in by then. Obviously,” Mallory chuckles, involving snorts and pushing of the eyeglasses back up the bridge of his nose, “the Brothers Grimm did no biological research whatsoever when they wrote their fables.” When asked if Mallory read the stories in question to his children, Mallory replied that the life of a biology genius is a lonely one. He then turned and fled in tears.
This will not be the first lawsuit involving fairy tale tellings gone awry. In 1993, Esther Lopez, another grade one school teacher, was sued when one of her students tried to climb up onto the jungle gym, using one of his classmate’s long hair as rope. The girl required twenty-five stitches to reattach her scalp and had to restart the grueling ordeal of growing her hair long again.
Martha Ingles, founder of Mothers Against Grimm, or MAG, says, “How many more sick children do we need to see until appropriate action is taken? As parents, we need to show our children we care for them.” Ingles then told her children, aged 10 and five respectively, to “shut up while I’m talking to the reporter or your ass will get paddled like there’s no tomorrow!”