(Yeah, I know this is an old bad joke, and I know you're not supposed to take jokes too far. But this is how I'd see this story playing out in this world, in this church:)
Elder Michelson squatted down by the concrete irrigation mizo between the road and the water-covered rice field, staring at the edge of the water.
Elder Shirōto stopped beside him. "What'ya lookin' at?"
"Just a cute little frog."
Elder Shirōto squatted down, too. "It's rainy season. Lots of cute little frogs in this field. Wait. That frog's not so little." He reached out to grab the frog, but it sprang out of reach, and plopped into the water. Inexplicably, it swam back to the edge a little farther away and climbed back out, to sit on the edge of the mizo surrounding the field, watching the two missionaries cautiously.
"Help me!" it croaked shrilly.
Elder Michelson started.
Elder Shirōto chuckled. "That's a high-pitched croak for such a big frog."
Elder Michelson glanced back at his companion. "That was not just a croak!" Turning to look at the frog again, he added, "She said, 'Help me!'"
Elder Shirōto stared at his companion, then broke into a loud guffaw. "Right." He controlled his laughter. "Now it's going to say, 'I'm a beautiful princess, kiss me.'"
The frog puffed out its pouch. "I am a princess," she said, with all the haughtiness she could muster. "Maybe I'm not so beautiful, but if you kiss me, you'll free me from this spell."
Elder Michelson's chin dropped to his chest as he stared at the frog.
Elder Shirōto started laughing again. "What'd she say now? 'Kiss me and you'll live forever?" He paused for effect, and then added, in mock seriousness, "You'll be a frog, but you'll live forever." He snickered, "You should see your face, Elder Mishi."
"I said nothing of the sort," the frog ribbited huffily. "That's not the kind of spell I'm under."
Elder Michelson looked back at his companion with amusement and then turned again to examine the frog. "She says she's not under that kind of spell."
"Okay, Elder Mishi. Maybe you're the senior companion and I'm the greenie, but I think we should call our district leader and ask to be sent somewhere there are people to teach. We've hailed at every house in this village three times this month, and the best we've got is doors slid shut in our faces. I think the stress is gettin' to you."
"What a rude little boy he is. Don't listen to him. I need your help," the frog ribbitted plaintively.
"I'll admit, the way it croaks is cute." Elder Shirōto snickered again.
"Yeah, cute." Elder Michelson stood up. "But we're missionaries, and we should be doing other things."
Elder Shirōto nodded his head. "Now you're making sense."
"Listen, I'm desperate." The frog hopped closer. "And I am a princess. I can reward you well if you kiss me."
"Reward? I don't guess either of us needs a reward. And missionaries aren't supposed to mess with magic." Elder Michelson turned to walk away.
"My father is powerful wizard king."
Elder Michelson stopped and thought for a moment. "Not magic, not rewards, but, ..." Then he squatted back down, and reached out and picked up the frog, now quite docile in his hand. He put it in his jacket pocket.
"Hey! Wait." Her cry was muffled by the fabric.
"That frog has prejudices. She jumped away from me, but lets you put it in
your pocket. And now I'm calling it 'she'."
"So? You don't seem to be able to hear her words."
The frog poked its head out of the pocket. "D&C 50," it said. "Maybe he's not listening to the same spirit."
"D&C 50? Elder Shiro, this frog also invokes scriptures."
"Well," Elder Shirōto snickered again, "I guess we can't baptize her if she's already a member. What are you planning to do with her? -- it, I mean."
"We can teach members practice lessons and have gospel discussions and do service projects with them." Elder Michelson stood up, gently pushing the frog back into his suit pocket, and started walking. "So let's walk around the farms looking for people to help or talk to." He started walking along the dote toward a field where a farmer was working.
"There's no need to take me any place special," the frog croaked from inside the pocket. "You can break the spell anywhere, and here is just fine. Please?"
"Now she's," Elder Shirōto stopped to correct himself again. "Uhm, it's getting excited." He followed his companion.
"Please! I'll give you anything you want! I can do anything you want! -- for a day."
"Okay, so she really wants you to kiss her." Elder Shirōto continued chuckling.
"I thought you couldn't hear her." Elder Michelson kept walking.
"I'm guessing what she's saying. Hey, if I'm not careful, you're going to
have me believing she's really talking."
"Two days!" The frog struggled inside the pocket.
"But you can't kiss her because you're a missionary."
"Anything you want for a week!" The frog practically screamed.
"She says she'll do anything we want for a week."
"We can't take that bargain. Even if she weren't a member, we couldn't force her to be baptized. Not she. It. And frogs don't need baptism."
"I'm not a member. I left the Church." Now it was pleading. "But I'll be in the water forever if someone doesn't kiss me!"
"You left the Church?" Elder Michelson stopped again, clearly puzzled.
Elder Shirōto stopped just in time to avoid bumping into his companion. "Shouldn't you be keeping this frog at arm's length?" he suggested.
"Arm's length?" the frog croaked.
"I'm not touching her while she's in my pocket."
"You're rationalizing, Elder." Elder Shirōto's voice took on an accusatory tone.
The frog poked it's head out of the pocket. "Why won't you kiss me?"
Now Elder Shirōto shrugged. "Why not kiss it and show yourself it's just your imagination? Look, you have a naked frog in your pocket. Kissing a frog can't be breaking the rules much worse than carrying it around."
"Naked frog. That's ..."
"Wash your laundry, clean your apartment, cook your meals, anything you want for a whole month!" she exclaimed.
"A month? You'll do anything we want for a whole month?"
"Not we. Elder Michelson. It's just a frog and it can't talk. I think we really should call the district leader."
"A month is long enough to teach someone the discussions, wouldn't you say, Elder Shirōto?"
"That does it, Elder. That frog is possessed, and it's got you under a curse, too. I'm calling the district leader." Elder Shirōto took out his cell phone and started dialing.
"Discussions?" The frog was shocked. "You wouldn't force me listen to those again!"
"Well," Elder Michelson sighed, "I guess, since we can't force you to get baptized, we probably shouldn't
try to force you to participate in lessons, either." He scratched his chin.
"Answer your phone, Sister Morinokami, my companion's going crazy!" (Okay, we can see that it is not quite the Church of this present world.)
"Moshi-moshi. Sister Morinokami here." Her face came up on the screen. "Elder Shirōto. I can see you are excited. What's the problem that your companion can't handle?"
"My companion thinks he has a talking frog in his pocket!"
"So he's talking to an imaginary frog?"
"No, the frog is real."
"Then the problem is that the frog can't talk?"
"Huh?" Elder Shirōto's mouth dropped open slightly.
Siter Morinokami sighed in turn. "Let me try talking to the poor thing."
"Here, Elder Michelson, she wants to talk to you."
Elder Michelson took the phone. "Uhm, ..."
"Not you Elder Michelson, the frog!"
Elder Shirōto tilted his head in disbelief as Elder Michelson moved the phone so the frog was within the camera's view field.
"I can talk, and Elder Shirōto or whatever his name is, can't understand me."
"Oh, I see. He can't understand you. Hello, Miss Frog. I am Sister Morinokami."
"My name is not Frog."
"Okay, Miss Not-frog."
The frog huffed. "Cindy."
"What can we do for you, Miss Cindy?"
"She wants someone to kiss her and turn her back into a princess," Elder Michelson explained.
"What's this about a talking frog?" The voice of Sister Morinokami's companion came through the phone speakers.
"Let me handle this, Sister Severus. Is what he says true, Miss Cindy?"
"Pretty much. One little kiss and I'll be free of this spell."
"Well, kissing a princess would be breaking the rules, but kissing a frog, I think that would be an act of service."
"But, ... but, ..." Elder Michelson stuttered in surprise and panic. "Uhh, what if she turns into a princess while I'm still kissing her?"
"Then you'll have to back away quickly. Would that work, Miss Cindy?"
"Yes!" the frog practically squealed in excitement. "Just a little kiss from a handsome prince and I'll be free of this spell!"
"But," Elder Michelson pointed out, "a princess, ... a princess is interesting, sure. But princesses aren't very useful. They mostly waste their time trying to look beautiful. A talking frog, though, that's really cool."
"Elder Michelson!" Sister Morinokami remonstrated "You're being selfish."
"People would listen to the lessons if we had a talking frog," he explained.
"Not if they can't understand her, and that's not teaching the gospel, anyway," Sister Morinokami chastised.
"I think," Sister Severus commented, still off-screen, "we'd better call the mission president."
The Missionary and the Enchanted Princess,
a Frog Story
- The Frog (this chapter)
- Missionaries and Magic