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There is a terribly romantic mood on the pond where Prince Bertie the Frog lives. All the pond life are excited by Valentine's Day, but nobody is more excited than Bertie. All he has to do is to lure the lovely Princess Beatrice down to the pond, receive a kiss from Her Royal Loveliness, and he will turn back into his true self - a handsome prince. Sadie the Swan has a plan, but Colin the Carp is certain that it won't be so easy to persuade a princess to kiss Bertie.

And if you are interested in the background to St. Valentine's day, try our story of St. Valentine.

Read by Natasha. Proofread by Claire Deakin.
Duration 15.20

Bertie Valentine

Hello, this is Natasha, and I'm dropping by to tell you the true storynory of Prince Bertie the Frog's Valentine's Day.

Have you heard about Valentine's Day?

It's a very special day. Every year, on the 14th of February, you send cards to people you love and care about - and if there is someone you have been secretly admiring, you can send them a card, and not say who it is from.

That sounds terribly mysterious and exciting.

Anyway, a few days ago, I was going for a walk and I was thinking about who I might send a Valentine's Card to this year, when I walked past the pond where Prince Bertie the frog lives with all his friends.

I saw Bertie sitting there, looking very sad.

Tim the Tadpole was trying to cheer him up. "Let's go for a walk, Bertie," said Tim.

"You haven't got any legs, Tim," said Bertie.

"Let's play hopscotch."

"No," snapped Bertie.

"Or skipping..."

Bertie looked blankly at his legless little friend as if he were a rather silly tadpole - which of course he was.

"C'mon Bertie," said Colin the Grumpy Carp. "There's nothing like a good old moan to improve everybody's mood. One two three... Ugggggggg!"

When I saw how my friend Bertie looked, I felt rather sorry for him, and I knelt down by the edge of the pond. "Why so sad?" I asked.

Bertie blushed a shade of deepest green, and became all shy. He sighed a bit, and at length he said, "Well let me tell you a story, and it will all become clear."

As his story was rather short, I'll just tell it to you quickly...

Once upon time there was a handsome, brave and gallant prince, who was engaged to be married to a beautiful princess. Then one day a wicked queen got rather cross and shouted out a magic spell that turned him into a frog. For a whole year he sat on a lily leaf and cried big fat tears, but then, on a bright wintry day, his princess came wandering by the pond. She saw the sad little creature, picked him up in her hand, and kissed him. For you see, although he was a frog, he was still terribly handsome and she just couldn't resist his charms. No sooner had she kissed him, than he turned back into a prince and they got married and lived happily ever after. THE END.

When I heard the story, I knew what Bertie meant. He was hoping for a Valentine's day kiss from the lovely Princess Beatrice, for that would turn him back into a prince.

Colin the Carp was far from convinced. "Boring!" He said. "Fairy tales always end in soppy kisses and happily ever afters, but that's because they are made up. If you ask me - which nobody ever does around this pond - in real life no self-respecting princess would kiss an ugly little frog; not even if you gave her a whole palace made of gold and filled to the top of its towers with pearls, frilly dresses, diamond tiaras and Girls Aloud CDs - not even then could she bring herself to kiss Bertie."

Just then, Sadie the Swan glided across the pond. "Oh yes she could," she said. "Princesses are always on the lookout for frogs to kiss... It's their royal duty. We must lure the lovely Princess Beatrice to walk past the pond on Valentine's Day, when she's in her most dreamy and romantic mood, and she's sure to kiss Bertie, because being a true princess she'll just know that really he's a handsome prince under a magic spell."

So all the pond life thought very hard about how to get the lovely Princess Beatrice to walk past the pond and see Bertie. They thought and thought, and Tim was thinking so hard that he fell over backwards.

Then Sadie came up with a clever plan, because Sadie knows all about Valentine's Day, and usually gets dozens of cards from swans all over the world.

"I know," she said. "We'll ask Natasha to send an announcement to the Palace Radio Station. Princess Beatrice will hear it, she'll know it was meant for her, and she'll come down to the pond, plant a kiss on Bertie, and they will both live happily ever after."

"Gosh. I say, that's really jolly clever, Sadie," said Bertie. And so it was done.

On Valentine's Day, the royal DJ was only playing romantic soppy love songs, and in between records he was reading out even gooier Valentine's messages. It was all rather boring really, but everyone in the palace was listening out, just in case they heard a message that was meant for them.

Eventually he read out the lines for Princess Beatrice - but because it was a Valentine's message, and meant to be sort of secret, it didn't actually mention any names.

The DJ purred, "Greetings Royal pop-pickers. Here's a message to get young hearts beating - not arf. If you go down to the palace pond today, only kiss a frog and your every wish will come true - all right, stay bright. And now here's a cool chart-topper from years gone by - 'Save All Your kisses for Me' by the Brotherhood of Man."

All the girls who lived in the palace and in the houses nearby heard the message on the palace radio, and each one of them wondered who would be the lucky girl who found the right frog to kiss, and whose every wish would come true. The same thought popped through the heads of quite a few of them: "I wonder if maybe, just maybe, it might be me." Even I thought the same for a moment, and then I remembered that I'm not a true princess, just Bertie's special storyteller, and so my wishes wouldn't come true even if I did kiss him. So I decided not to afterall.

On Valentine's Day, His Royal Highness, Prince Bertie the Frog, peeked out from behind his lilypad and looked at his reflection in the pond. His skin was a nice shiny shade of green. He sipped up some water and swilled away all the traces of green slime from around his mouth. It was a pity that he couldn't do anything about the bumps on his head and back, but all the same, he was certain that if the lovely Princess Beatrice felt like kissing a frog that morning, it might as well be him.

The mood on the pond was terribly romantic. He could see that Sadie had already received a sackful of Valentine cards.

Tim had received one - from his mum, and Colin had received one as well, from Chloe Carp, and he was swimming around in quite an excited way - but actually that card was from Bertie playing a joke on him.

Bertie couldn't wait for the lovely Princess Beatrice to come down and kiss him, so he hopped up onto the bank of the pond, and looked out across to the palace.

Soon a small girl came along and immediately she saw Bertie and cooed, "Oooh look Nanny, a frog. Let me kiss him quick and all my wishes will come true." Bertie tried to hop away as fast as he could, but the girl's brother caught him and held Bertie up to his sister's lips.

"Go on now," said the boy - who was really rather horrid. "Kissy kissy!"

"Ooooh," said the girl, scrunching up her face, "he's so shiny and green - quite the ugliest little creature I ever did see, but I'm sure that he'll turn into a prince if I kiss him, so I suppose I had just better get it over with."

She closed her eyes and kissed Bertie. Bertie thought the kiss was perfectly horrible, and he wriggled and wriggled, trying to escape, but the boy thought it was hilarious, and he put Bertie in his satchel and took him to school. In the playground the girls queued up and paid the boy with their pocket money, or toffee apples, or chewy sweets, and each one of them kissed Bertie to see if he would turn into a prince for them. Each one of them was disappointed that nothing happened - because none were a true princess. Some of them burst into tears.

It was a very miserable Bertie who eventually hopped back to the pond after receiving more kisses than he could count.

He was about to dive into the slimy green water when he saw Princess Beatrice. She was walking down to the pond, looking for a frog to kiss - for when she heard the message on the radio, she suspected that her wicked stepmother might have turned her beloved Prince Bertie into a frog, because she hadn't seen or heard from him for quite a while now,and she knew that she must find him, and kiss him. Bertie became ever so excited, and started to hop up and down - but Beatrice didn't see him. Instead, she spotted Old Tommy Frog, Tim the tadpole's grandfather, who'd been sent down to check that Tim had received his card.

"Beatrice, my darling," Bertie tried to cry out, but the only sound that came out of his mouth was a big, "Croak!"

Princess Beatrice was so lost in her thoughts that she didn't even hear his croaking.

Instead, she knelt down and gave old grandfather Tommy a peck on the bump of his head. He got the shock of his ancient life, and dived straight back into the pond.

"I wish that Prince Bertie would come home soon," said Beatrice, before adding, "Hmmm I'm not sure that I really like kissing frogs, but I suppose it's my royal duty once in awhile". Then she turned around and headed straight back to the palace.

Bertie felt a bit sad about that, but then he cheered up, because he knew the lovely Princess Beatrice still loved him, and was thinking about him on Valentine's Day, wishing that he would come home. As Bertie went to sleep under his lily, he could see Colin swimming around, looking at his card and saying, "I wonder who Chloe Carp is?"

And that's the true storynory of Bertie's Valentine's Day.

I hope you have a great day

Until next time, from me, Natasha, and all your friends at, bye, bye.

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