times when wishing
still helped one, there lived a king whose daughters were all
but the youngest was so beautiful that the sun itself, which has seen
much, was astonished whenever it shone in her face. Close by the King's
castle lay a great dark forest, and under an old lime-tree in the
was a well, and when the day was very warm, the King's child went out
the forest and sat down by the side of the cool fountain, and when she
was dull she took a golden ball, and threw it up on high and caught it,
and this ball was her favorite plaything.
Now it so
happened that on
one occasion the princess's golden ball did not fall into the little
which she was holding up for it, but on to the ground beyond, and
straight into the water. The King's daughter followed it with her eyes,
but it vanished, and the well was deep, so deep that the bottom could
be seen. On this she began to cry, and cried louder and louder, and
not be comforted.
And as she
some one said to her, "What ails thee, King's daughter? Thou weepest so
that even a stone would show pity."
round to the side
from whence the voice came, and saw a frog stretching forth its thick,
ugly head from the water. "Ah! old water-splasher, is it thou?" said
"I am weeping for my golden ball, which has fallen into the well."
and do not weep,"
answered the frog, "I can help thee, but what wilt thou give me if I
thy plaything up again?"
thou wilt have,
dear frog," said she--"My clothes, my pearls and jewels, and even the
crown which I am wearing."
answered, "I do
not care for thy clothes, thy pearls and jewels, or thy golden crown,
if thou wilt love me and let me be thy companion and play-fellow, and
by thee at thy little table, and eat off thy little golden plate, and
out of thy little cup, and sleep in thy little bed---if thou wilt
me this I will go down below, and bring thee thy golden ball up
said she, "I promise
thee all thou wishest, if thou wilt but bring me my ball back again."
however, thought, "How the silly frog does talk! He lives in the water
with the other frogs, and croaks, and can be no companion to any human
frog when he had
received this promise, put his head into the water and sank down, and
a short while came swimmming up again with the ball in his mouth, and
it on the grass.
daughter was delighted
to see her pretty plaything once more, and picked it up, and ran away
it. "Wait, wait," said the frog. "Take me with thee. I can't run as
canst." But what did it avail him to scream his croak, croak, after
as loudly as he could? She did not listen to it, but ran home and soon
forgot the poor frog, who was forced to go back into his well
day when she had
seated herself at table with the King and all the courtiers, and was
from her little golden plate, something came creeping splish splash,
splash, up the marble staircase, and when it had got to the top, it
at the door and cried, "Princess, youngest princess, open the door for
me." She ran to see who was outside, but when she opened the door,
sat the frog in front of it. Then she slammed the door to, in great
sat down to dinner again, and was quite frightened.
saw plainly that
her heart was beating violently, and said, "My child, what art thou so
afraid of? Is there perchance a giant outside who wants to carry thee
replied she. "It
is no giant but a disgusting frog."
a frog want with
thee?" "Ah, dear father, yesterday as I was in the forest sitting by
well, playing, my golden ball fell into the water. And because I cried
so, the frog brought it out again for me, and because he so insisted, I
promised him he should be my companion, but I never thought he would be
able to come out of his water! And now he is outside there, and wants
come in to me." In the meantime it knocked a second time, and cried,
youngest princess! Open the door for me! Dost thou not know what thou
to me Yesterday by the cool waters of the fountain? Princess, youngest
princess! Open the door for me!"
the King, "That
which thou hast promised must thou perform. Go and let him in."
and opened the door,
and the frog hopped in and followed her, step by step, to her chair.
he sat and cried, "Lift me up beside thee."
delayed, until at last
the King commanded her to do it. When the frog was once on the chair he
wanted to be on the table, and when he was on the table he said, "Now,
push thy little golden plate nearer to me that we may eat together."
did this, but it was easy to see that she did not do it willingly. The
frog enjoyed what he ate, but almost every mouthful she took choked
At length he said, "I have eaten and am satisfied; now I am tired,
me into thy little room and make thy little silken bed ready, and we
both lie down and go to sleep."
to cry, for she was afraid of the cold frog which she did not like to
and which was now to sleep in her pretty, clean little bed. But the
grew angry and said, "He who helped thee when thou wert in trouble
not afterwards to be despised by thee."
So she took
hold of the frog
with two fingers, carried him upstairs, and put him in a corner. But
she was in bed he crept to her and said, "I am tired, I want to sleep
well as thou, lift me up or I will tell thy father." Then she was
angry, and took him up and threw him with all her might against the
"Now, thou wilt be quiet, odious frog," said she. But when he fell down
he was no frog but a King's son with beautiful kind eyes. He by her
will was now her dear companion and husband. Then he told her how he
been bewitched by a wicked witch, and how no one could have delivered
from the well but herself, and that to-morrow they would go together
went to sleep,
and next morning when the sun awoke them, a carriage came driving up
eight white horses, which had white ostrich feathers on their heads,
were harnessed with golden chains, and behind stood the young King's
Faithful Henry. Faithful Henry had been so unhappy when his master was
changed into a frog, that he had caused three iron bands to be laid
his heart, lest it should burst with grief and sadness. The carriage
to conduct the young King into his Kingdom. Faithful Henry helped them
both in, and placed himself behind again, and was full of joy because
this deliverance. And when they had driven a part of the way the King's
son heard a cracking behind him as if something had broken. So he
round and cried, "Henry, the carriage is breaking." "No, master, it is
not the carriage. It is a band from my heart, which was put there in my
great pain when you were a frog and imprisoned in the well." Again and
once again while they were on their way something cracked, and each
the King's son thought the carriage was breaking; but it was only the
which were springing from the heart of faithful Henry because his
was set free and was happy.