The Frog Prince
The Frog Prince
Once upon a time, there was a princess who loved to play with her golden ball. She couldn't wait to throw the ball high into the air and then catch it. Every day she would play for hours in the garden with her ball. She thought of little other than her golden ball.
One day, she decided to see how high she could throw the ball. She threw it up high and caught it easily. “That's too easy,” she thought, so she threw it even higher and still it was too easy to catch. Finally, she gave the ball a great heave and threw it so high that she lost sight of it. When it came down, she didn't catch it, and the ball rolled away and landed,
She stood at the edge of the pond, but could not see her ball anywhere.
“Excuse me, Princess,” said a voice, “I can get your ball for you.”
The princess looked around to see who was speaking. All she could see was a very slimy and warty frog.
“Did you say something to me?” the princess asked the frog, for these were magical times and frogs and other animals were known to speak occasionally.
“Yes,” croaked the frog. “I said that I could get your ball for you.”
“I'm not used to talking with warty frogs,” said the princess arrogantly.
“Well, then,” said the frog indignantly, “you shall never see your ball again.” And he turned to hop away.
“Wait, wait!” cried the princess. “I'm sorry. Will you please get my ball for me?”
“On one condition,” said the frog. “When I retrieve the ball, you will give me one small kiss.”
The princess felt that she had little choice since she desperately wanted her golden ball back. So she grudgingly agreed to this condition.
The frog paddled down into the pond and in the wink of an eye came back with the ball.
“Here it is!” he said, dropping the ball at the princess's feet.
“Thank you, good Frog,” she said, and she began tossing the ball into the air.
“Wait,” said the frog. “Aren't you forgetting your promise?”
“Oh,” said the princess. “You can't really expect me to kiss you, can you? After all, I am royalty and you are warty!” With that, she ran away, returning to the palace. That evening at dinner, a servant came into the dining room.
“There is a frog here to see you, Your Majesty.”
“A what?” said the king.
“A what?” said the princess.
“A frog,” said the servant. “He says he has business with the princess. Something about a broken promise.”
“Send him away immediately!” said the princess.
“Bring him in,” said the king.
A few minutes later, in hopped the frog.
“Do you know this frog?” said the king.
“I rescued your daughter's golden ball,” said the frog. “But she has broken her promise to me.”
“Is that true?” asked the king.
“He wanted me to kiss him,” said the princess. “I cannot stand the thought of touching my lips to his green mouth!”
“No daughter of mine will break her promise,” said the king. “Do as you must.”
“No, sire,” said the frog. “She must do it voluntarily.”
“Never!” shouted the princess.
This frog was a persistent fellow, though, so for many weeks, he hopped to the palace every morning and sat with the princess. They ate and played together. At the end of six months, as they were going up to bed, the princess turned to the frog and without really thinking said, “Good night, Frog,” and gave him a little kiss on the top of his head.
In an instant, the frog vanished, and in his place was a handsome man.
“Who are you?” said the princess, stepping back. “What have you done with my frog?” For by now, the princess loved the little frog, warts and all.
“I am your frog,” said the man. “I am also a prince. I was enchanted by a wicked fairy and turned into a frog. Only the kiss of a beautiful princess could break the enchantment.”
“Why didn't you tell me before?” said the princess.
“Because,” said the prince, “you had to do it of your own free will.”
The two were soon married, and the princess grew to love the prince just as much as she had loved the frog. The prince and princess lived happily together and had many children who loved to play with the golden ball and hear the story of how their parents met.