Interlude

Once, upon an island in the Bermuda Triangle, was a castle. And at this castle played a cat with a golden ball. The cat jumped on it, batted it around, pounced on it, and chased it around. In its frenzy of play, the cat chased the ball past a pink-eyed witch, out the castle, past a delivery man, where it rolled off and fell into a well.

"Oh, sleek and mighty jungle panther," said a frog from the darkness. "What troubles you to wake me and look in this well?"

"Oh, it is you, old mowgli," said the cat. "The golden ball with which I taunted and romped has fallen in."

"Never mind your search," said the frog. "I can help you in return for a favor."

"Whatever you like, my dear," said the cat. "I have some string. A chew toy. Half a dead rat."

"Why would I want half a dead rat?" said the frog.

"To swing on the string," said the cat. "At the squirrels."

"Your string, chew toy, and rat half are not for me," said the frog. "I will retrieve your golden ball if you promise to reward me with a kiss."

"Very well," said the cat. The frog returned the cat its ball, and the cat took the frog whole in its mouth.

"Mumble, mumble?" said the frog. "Mumble, mumble, mumble."

"Mmm," said the cat, teeth clenched. "Frog. Mmm."

"Mumble, mumble, mumble," said the frog. "Mumble, mumble, mumble mumble, mumble."

"Mmm," said the cat. "Cursed prince. Bite sized. Mmm."

"Mumble, mumble, mumble mumble, mumble," said the frog. When the cat next saw its reflection in the water, it saw itself changed into a plump and rosy-cheeked little girl.

"...ribbit," said the girl, who then wandered off in search of a bath.