Princess Wart Face

Once upon a time, for about ten minutes, there was a beautiful princess.   She lived with her family in a house under the Atlanta airport flight path.  Her father pastored a church and kept bees on the side, which put him in perpetual danger of being stung for disturbing a hive.

As stated before, this princess felt pretty once.  She was sixteen and prone to gazing into the mirror lovingly until her little brother or sister pounded on the bathroom door and demanded access.  But one morning, she awoke to find her face covered in flesh-covered flat dots.  They were the size of confetti quins used for decorating cupcakes.

“Flat warts,” Dr. Peng, the dermatologist, announced.  “You kiss flat frog.”  It was a statement and not a question.

He left the room, returning after a few minutes with a solution that he said would burn the warts off of her face.  They should have been alarmed, the princess and her mother, by the word “burn.”  But it was a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, a time when the princess still believed that doctors were infallible.

The medicine did burn away the flat warts.  But it did so by causing huge blisters to appear on the princess’s beautiful face.  The blisters oozed and itched, and the girl understood for the first time in her young life what was meant by the phrase “the treatment is worse than the cure.”  When she looked into the mirror, what she saw was hideous, and she knew in her heart that God was punishing her for being so prideful in her appearance.

The warts that had been burned fell off, and the blisters gradually healed.  But new warts grew in their place until her face was completely covered.  Since there was no Internet to Google “remedy for flat warts,” all she had to consult was old wives and their tales.  She sorted through stories of banana peels, raw potatoes, apple cider vinegar, and even duct tape being used to treat warts.  Since couldn’t go to school with duct tape on her face, she opted for large doses of Vitamin A, a sensible-sounding folk cure for warts.  Her mother, the queen, settled upon large doses of prayer.

One morning about three months after the first warts appeared, the princess woke and proceeded to the bathroom for her morning ablutions.  She looked into the mirror and saw that the warts had completely disappeared from her face overnight.  Just as quickly as they had appeared, they were gone.  It was a miracle!

And for many years, the princess, believing her pride to be the source of the flat warts, was afraid to even wonder if she was pretty.  It changed, however, when she had two daughters of her own.  Seeing each for the first time, she understood that they were beautiful simply because they existed and that there was no shame in savoring their beauty.

That, and she finally Googled “flat warts” to find that one can catch them by kissing another person but not by looking in the mirror.

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