A German fairytale by the Grimm Brothers
Translated into English by Tasha Guenther
There once was a Princess. She was not an ordinary princess, however. This Princess loved to play alone in the palace gardens while she tossed around her favourite beaming golden ball.
Now, the problem with playing alone was that no one was ever there to catch the ball if she tossed it too high in the air. One day, as she was running around lilies and daisies and hedges and roses, she tossed her ball higher in the air than she ever had before.
Her beautiful golden ball had plopped right into a small pond nearby! She ran over to the pond and watched sadly as the golden sphere sank deeper and deeper into the water. The princess looked down at her dress. She was wearing her favourite golden dress; the sparkles and gems on the front of the brilliant gown were rare and she was afraid that if she entered the water she would destroy her outfit. Frustrated with her situation, the princess began to cry.
Suddenly, the Princess heard a strange noise coming from the middle of the water. Hop! Hop!
“Do you not know how to swim?” asked a small frog. Hop! The Princess looked up and scrunched her face up at the sight of the green creature sitting on the lily pad.
“I do,” she replied.
“Well, why don’t you come on in?” he asked.
“I don’t want to spoil my beautiful gold dress!“ the Princess replied, rolling her eyes at the frog.
“Well, I suppose I could get it for you…” the frog started.
“You can? Oh! Please do! Please do!” she cried.
But before he jumped into the water, the frog turned to her and asked:
“What will you give me in return for grabbing your golden ball?”
“Oh! You can have anything you desire!” the Princess replied, impatient to be playing again.
“What I would like is a friend. That’s all. A friend to spend time with me, to eat supper with me, to read for me, to sleep beside me, and to kiss me goodnight!” the frog said.
“Anything! Anything!” the Princess cried.
And with that, the small green frog hopped into the water and retrieved the Princess’s gold ball. The minute he handed it over, the girl ran around giggling and tossing her beloved ball up in the air; she had completely forgotten all about the frog.
At supper, the girl was seated at the table with her father, the King. Before either of them could take a bite, there came a small knock at the door. The King got up and walked to open it. Hop! Hop! Hop! In walked the small green frog.
“I have come to eat supper with you, Princess!” the frog said happily, hopping up on the table. The Princess gently grabbed the frog and placed him outside the door.
She turned her heel and sat down at her spot once more, ignoring the suspicious look from the king.
“And who was that, Princess?” he asked her.
“Oh, no one,” she replied.
The stern look from her father caused her to go red with embarrassment. She told him that she had promised the frog that she would spend time with him, and eat supper with him, and read for him, and let him sleep with her, and kiss him goodnight.
“But I don’t want to hang out with him. He’s gross!” she continued.
“A promise is a promise, Princess. We must always keep our promises,” the King said wisely. With that the girl slowly shuffled over to the door and opened it up.
Hop! Hop! Hop!
The frog ate supper with her, and then followed the Princess into her bedroom where she began to read.
“What are you reading?” he asked trying to peer over her shoulder to see.
“Nothing,” she replied shrugging him off.
Sadly, the frog hopped over to her bed and sat down on her pillow. Before he could get comfortable, the Princess ran over to him, picked him up, and placed him by the window.
“But you promised!” he cried.
She sighed and took him back with her to bed. She read him a bedtime story and, surprisingly, the frog was quite smart and funny. She actually enjoyed his company.
When it was time to sleep, the frog asked her for a bedtime kiss. She refused, scrunching her face once more at the sight of the green creature before her.
The Princess shut out the light and tried to go to sleep. Suddenly, she heard the sounds of weeping. She turned the light back on to see the frog beside her, wiping tears from his eyes.
She was hit with a wave of guilt for making the poor frog cry. She tucked him in bed beside her and kissed him gently.
All of a sudden, the small green frog transformed into a handsome young prince right before her eyes; she jumped back from the bed in surprise. The Prince informed her that an evil witch had put a spell on him and only a kiss could return him back to his original state. It just so happened that the Princess was the first one to break the spell.
Forever after, the Prince and Princess were able to play together in the palace gardens. The Princess was happier than ever to have a playmate and, whenever she accidentally threw the ball too high in the air, she was ecstatic to have a companion to go and fetch it for her.