“The Frog Princess Forgives,” Friend, September 2019
Katya carried a large box as she walked out of her apartment building into the sunshine. It was summer, and for a few months, the weather was warm in her city in Russia. She set the box down on a bench where her friends Dima and Sonya were waiting.
“Here’s everything we need for our play!” Katya said. She opened the box and pulled out a plastic crown and pieces of purple, blue, and red cloth. With some creativity, these would make great costumes.
“What play are we doing?” Dima asked.
Katya smiled. “I think we should do ‘The Frog Princess’!” It was her favorite fairy tale. Katya smiled as she imagined herself playing the beautiful Vasilisa.
Sonya grabbed the blue cloth from the box and draped it around herself. “I want to be Vasilisa!” she said.
“Wait,” said Katya. “It was my idea. That means I get to be Vasilisa.”
“You can be her,” said Sonya, giggling. “When she’s a frog!”
Katya frowned and pulled the blue cloth away from Sonya. “It’s my play!”
Sonya put her hands on her hips. “Nobody wants to play with you if you’re bossy. You’re a better frog than a princess.”
Katya felt tears in her eyes. She grabbed her box and ran inside, all the way up the stairs into her family’s apartment. She slammed the door behind her.
“What’s wrong?” Mama said. Katya burst into tears.
“Sonya is ruining everything!” Katya told Mama the whole story. “She said I was a frog!”
“Oh, Katyusha,” Mama said. Katyusha was Mama’s nickname for Katya. “I’m sorry. That wasn’t very nice of her.”
Just then there was a knock at the door. Mama went to answer it, but Katya ran to her room. She heard voices. Then Mama called to her. “Would you like to talk to Sonya? She has something to say to you.”
“No!” Katya yelled.
She could hear voices again, and then she heard the door close.
“I think Sonya is sorry,” Mama said.
“I don’t care,” Katya said. She pushed her face deeper into her pillow.
Mama stood by the door for a minute. “You know, sometimes when I’m really angry, I don’t want to forgive other people. Sometimes I need to ask Heavenly Father to help me want to forgive.”
Katya was too angry to forgive. Sonya had hurt her feelings! But … being angry didn’t feel very good either.
She sighed and knelt by the side of her bed. Katya knew Heavenly Father wanted her to forgive Sonya. It was the right thing to do. But maybe Heavenly Father also wanted her to forgive because it would help her feel better too.
“Heavenly Father, please help me forgive Sonya,” she said. “I really don’t want to, but I also don’t want to stay angry.”
She finished her prayer and took a deep breath. Katya felt her anger start to melt away, just a little. She could do this. She could forgive. She walked to Sonya’s apartment and knocked on the door.
Sonya opened it and started talking right away. “Katya, I’m sorry for what I said.”
“I forgive you,” said Katya. “And I’m sorry I took my costumes back. You would be a good Vasilisa too. We can take turns.”
Sonya smiled. “OK. Can we go play now? I’ll get Dima!”
Katya smiled back. “I’ll get the costumes!”