The Frog Prince

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6 min

Brother Grimm

One evening long ago, a young princess put on her bonnet and clogs and went out for a walk in the forest. After a while she came to a beautiful fountain, where she sat down to rest. She had a golden ball in her hand. It was her favorite toy, which she almost always juggled. She was now sitting by the well and threw the ball into the air and then caught it as it fell down. After a while she threw it so high that she missed catching it. The ball fell to the ground, bounced off, then rolled on the ground until it eventually fell into the well.

The princess looked in the well for her ball, but the well was very deep, so deep that she could not see the bottom of it. She began to weep miserably at her loss, and said, "If I could only get my ball back again, I would give away all my fine clothes and jewels, yea, all that I had in this world."

While she was talking, a frog stuck its head out of the water and said, “Princess, why are you so sad?”
“Uh!” said she, “What can you do for me you mean frog? My golden ball has fallen into the well.” The frog then said: "I don't want your fine clothes, your jewels or pearls but if you will love me, let me live with you, eat from your golden plates and sleep in your bed, then I will give you back your ball .” "What nonsense," thought the princess, "this stupid frog is talking." He can't even get out of the water to visit me, but he can probably get my ball. Therefore I shall say that he gets everything he asks for.” She then said to the frog: "If you get my ball, you will get everything you asked for."

The frog then dived under the water and after a while it came up again with the ball in its mouth and placed it on the edge of the well. As soon as the princess saw the ball, she excitedly ran forward and picked it up and thought no more of the frog, but ran home as fast as she could. The frog called after her: "Stop, Princess! You promised to take me with you!” But she didn't stop to listen to him.

The next day, just as the princess had sat down to dinner, she heard a strange sound: "Tap, tap, splash, splash" as if something was coming up the marble stairs. Soon after, a light knock was heard on the door and a voice called out:
“Open the door, my beloved princess!
Open the door and let your loved one in!
Remember what you promised me down at the well!”

Then the princess ran to the door and opened it. She then caught sight of the frog, which she had completely forgotten. At this sight she was frightened, quickly closed the door and returned to the table. Her father, the king, saw that something had frightened her and asked what it was. "There's a nasty frog at the door." she said, “He picked up my ball from the well this morning. I promised him that he would be allowed to live with me, because I thought he would never be able to get out of the well and come here. But now he is here at the door and wants to come in.”

While she was talking, the frog knocked again on the door and said:
“Open the door, my beloved princess!
Open the door and let your loved one in!
Remember what you promised me down at the well!”

"What you promised you must keep." said the king to the princess, "Then go and let him in." The princess went to the door and let the frog in, who jumped into the room with the clapping sounds of his frog feet: "Tap, tap, splash, splash." He continued in this way as far as the table near where the princess sat. "Please lift me up on a chair," he said to the princess, "and let me sit next to you." As soon as she had done so, the frog said, "Put your plate near me, so that I may eat from it."

She did so and when he had eaten as much as he could, he said: “Now I am tired. Carry me up to your room and put me in your bed.” The princess then took him, albeit reluctantly, in her hand, carried him up to her room, and laid him on her pillow.” There the frog slept all night. As soon as it was light, he jumped out of bed, jumped down the stairs and left the house. "Well at last," thought the princess, "now he has gone and he will trouble me no more."

But she was deceived, for in the evening she heard the same strange footsteps on the front steps, the same knocking on the door and the frog's voice calling out once more:
“Open the door, my beloved princess!
Open the door and let your loved one in!
Remember what you promised me down at the well!”
When the princess opened the door, the frog came in and slept on her pillow until morning came. On the third night he did it again, but when the princess awoke, the following morning, she was very surprised. She then saw not a frog but a handsome prince, who looked at her with the most beautiful eyes she had ever seen.

He told that he had been bewitched by an evil fairy, who had turned him into a frog, and that he would remain so, until some princess took him out of the well and let him eat from her plate and sleep in her bed for three nights. “You have now broken the spell,” said the prince, “and I have no other wishes than that you will come with me to my father's kingdom, where I will marry you and love you as long as I live.

It didn't take long for the young princess to say yes to everything. At the same time, a coachman drove a stately carriage with eight beautiful horses adorned with plumes, feathers and golden harnesses. Behind the carriage rode the prince's faithful servant, Henrik, who had been so unhappy under his ruler's spell that his heart almost broke.

They then bade farewell to the king and sat down in the carriage. They set off happily and expectantly towards the prince's kingdom, where they arrived without any obstacles and lived there happily for many, many years.

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