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  • Writer's pictureLoveday Funck

Cajun Storytime: The Tale of Jeanette

A brand new year and a chance to try new things!

As artists, it's important to challenge ourselves and push the boundaries of our creativity constantly. That's exactly what I've done with today's blog post. I've taken a beloved fairy tale, "The Tale of Jorinda", and given it a fresh, new twist, stepping outside of my comfort zone and trying something new in the process. It's not always easy to take risks and try new things, but it's through these challenges that we grow and evolve as artists. I hope you'll join me on this creative journey and see the results of my efforts to push myself out of my comfort zone. So sit back, relax, and let me take you on a magical adventure, unlike anything you've experienced before!

Cajun Storytime: The Tale of Jeanette

Once upon a time, in a dark and misty swamp, there lived a powerful witch. For as long as anyone could remember, she had lived in a small cottage, hidden deep within the swamp.

The witch had the power to transform into any shape she desired. During the day, she could be a graceful blue heron, gliding through the swamp's waters, or a gator, deadly and quiet in the still waters of the bayou. At night, she always returned to her true form - an old, wrinkled woman.

If a man came within fifty paces of her cottage, he would become frozen in place, unable to move or speak. If he swore never to return, the witch would release him. But if a woman came within a hundred paces of the cottage, the witch would turn her into a little green frog. The witch would then scoop up the frog and place it in one of many aquariums filled with other unfortunate frog maidens who had stumbled upon her in the past.

Not far from the witch's cottage lived Jeanette, a young woman who had grown up on the edge of the bayou. She knew the dangers of the swamp and was careful to stay away from it, especially at night. However, Jeanette's suitor, Jean-Paul, was not from the swamp. He was a sophisticated man from New Orleans who suggested they take a walk along the bayou as the sun was setting. Despite her reservations, Jeanette couldn't resist his charming smile and the two set off into the twilight.

As they walked deeper into the swamp, Jeanette listened to Jean-Paul's stories of life in the city. She was fascinated by his tales, but before long, she realized that they had strayed too far into the bayou. In the darkness, she could see the outline of a small cottage. Jeanette's heart raced as she remembered the stories of the swamp witch.

Jean-Paul, unaware of the tales, saw the cottage and exclaimed, "We'll ask whoever lives there to show us the way home." But before he could turn around, the shadowy figure of a cloaked woman emerged from the shadows. The woman waved her hand and Jean-Paul was frozen in place, unable to move or speak.

Throwing back her cloak, the ancient witch revealed her face, full of envy and hate. She began to chant: "May your skin turn green and smooth, your legs long and lean. Hop. Ribbit. By the power of the moon, your transformation is now complete."

As Jeanette shrank and changed into a little green frog, she tried to cry for help, but all that came out was a ribbit. The witch waved her hand again and Jean-Paul was able to move. He fell to his knees and begged the witch to reverse the transformation.

But the witch only cackled and reached down to scoop up Jeanette. "Be on your way or I'll trap you here for all time. Maybe turn you into a tree."

Terrified, Jean-Paul stumbled away, weeping into the darkness. He somehow found his way out of the swamp and back to Jeanette's village. What was he to do? He knew he had to rescue Jeanette, but he wasn't sure how.

Jean-Paul found work as a fisherman in the village. He was determined to rescue Jeanette, the love of his life, from the clutches of the powerful swamp witch. Despite the caution of others, he refused to give up and spent every waking moment searching for a way to defeat the witch. He spent months studying old and obscure books and pouring over magical secrets.

Finally, after long, sleepless nights of research, Jean-Paul had a dream about a special flower, the Louisiana Iris, that had the power to cure Jeanette. Determined to find this Iris, Jean-Paul set off on a quest through the swamp and bayou. After many weeks of searching, he finally stumbled upon the beautiful flower, glowing in the moonlight.

With the Iris in hand, Jean-Paul set off to confront the swamp witch. He knew that she was less powerful during the day, so he approached her cottage in the early morning light. When he touched the flower to the door, it swung open, and Jean-Paul found himself able to move freely through the rooms of the cottage.

As he passed from room to room, the aquariums containing the frog maidens burst apart, and the women were transformed back into their true selves. At last, Jean-Paul came face to face with the swamp witch in a sunroom at the back of the cottage.

The witch shrieked in rage as Jean-Paul approached, cradling a small aquarium containing a single frog - Jeanette. In a last-ditch effort, the witch threw the aquarium at Jean-Paul, but he was ready. He raised the Iris in defense, and the aquarium shattered in mid-air as Jeanette was transformed back into a woman.

The swamp witch, realizing her defeat, began to mumble dark spells and wave her hands in intricate patterns. Desperately, Jean-Paul waved the Iris in a protective motion, and the flower burst open in a flurry of petals. The witch shrieked as she was transformed into a little green frog, just like the ones she had cursed over the years.

Jean-Paul and Jeanette embraced in joy, tears streaming down their faces. They gratefully led the freed women out of the cottage and back to the village, leaving the old swamp witch to ribbit in frustration in her new life as a frog.

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