Once upon a time, many many moons ago there lived a small but rather wart covered little boy by the name of Eustace Shannon Yumbolter. It is important that you know, however, that Eustace Shannon had a secret reason for all of his warts. He desperately wanted to become a bullfrog.
Oftentimes when he had finished his daily chores Eustace went running out to the pond in the forest, where he would spend the day playing with the little frogs who hopped along the banks there. He found the way the little polliwogs swam fascinating. He adored the way the bigger frogs swelled up their throats and he just swooned over how far a penny frog could jump to evade him. He wanted to become one very badly.
Consequently, Eustace Shannon began to practice. He practiced and practised and practised. He did all right with the swimming like a frog. As far as he knew he could make his throat swell a little- Although no sound ever came belching out. And when it came to jumping he was seriously lacking in skill.
Truthfully, even after months, all poor Eustace was accomplishing was catching frogs to play with. And as we all know, frog warts are contagious. Therefore Eustace was covered in warts.
His mother was nearly hysterical over them, she simply couldn’t understand how it was that the warts would not go away. She brought home witches remedies, magic pebbles, made him take tonics and use scrubs, eat bugs (which Eustace found properly froglike) and even take a bath in spoiled goat milk. Nothing helped, though, and when she finally threw her hands up in the air, Eustace only smiled. He never said a word about the frogs.
One day, by chance, his mother ran into an odd little girl named Dragon. Dragon was one of Eustace’s classmates and she was privy to Eustace’s secret love of frogs. The girl had spotted him on more than one occasion conversing with an amphibian. Dragon told the boy's mother all about it and informed her that she knew what to do to cure his strange obsession.
So on the following Saturday, Dragon went to visit Eustace with a coil of rope over her arm, a coal lantern and a locked box.
Eustace sat smugly while Dragon and his father tied him gently up to a chair, assuming that it would be another ineffective treatment. Then Dragon, with her pert little nose in the air, lit the coal lantern and turned off all of the lights. Eustace sat up straighter. Finally curious about the proceedings.
“Please, be quiet.” She told his parents, “Or we may scare the poor bullfrog. He needs to be nice and comfortable while we prepare.”
Eustace glanced at his arms hopefully, but no luck. He still looked like a human boy. Angry at the trick he swelled up his throat best he could and was disappointed when no sound came out.
“You see!” Cried Dragon. “The poor toad is so scared he can’t make a noise. Now, please help me with this pot.”
She and his mother filled a large kettle full of boiling water and then Dragon unlocked her box. It was full of spices!
After a few minutes of conferring with his parents- she had gravely warned against the use of salt- Dragon pulled out rosemary, grapeseed oil and garlic. Which she proceeded to dump over his head.
“Hey!” Eustace shouted.
“Oh, listen to the delicious morsel sing!” His mother clapped her hands delightedly. “He will be so tasty!”
Then his father began to untie him, “Into the pot you go little froggy! Eustace will be so pleased when he comes home to frog legs for dinner!”
Eustace shrieked louder still and ran past Dragon’s crackling fire and cooking pot and out into the street.
A few hours later Eustace returned. He was very careful to act like a boy and not a frog. His mother told him that Dragon was coming for dinner, and they would be eating chicken legs since the frog had escaped earlier. Eustace was very relieved.
Two weeks later Eustace’s warts had all but disappeared and he lived happily as a human boy thenceforth.