One fine evening a young princess put on her bonnet
and clogs, and went out to take a walk by herself
in a wood; and when she came to a cool spring of water
with a rose in the middle of it, she sat herself down
to rest a while. Now she had a golden ball in her hand,
which was her favourite plaything; and she was
always tossing it up into the air, and catching it
again as it fell.
After a time she threw it up so high that she missed
catching it as it fell; and the ball bounded away,
and rolled along on the ground, until at last it fell
down into the spring. The princess looked into the
spring after her ball, but it was very deep,
so deep that she could not see the bottom of it.
She began to cry, and said, 'Alas! if I could only get
my ball again, I would give all my fine clothes and jewels,
and everything that I have in the world.'
Whilst she was speaking, a frog put its head out
of the water, and said, 'Princess, why do you weep so bitterly?'
'Alas!' said she, 'what can you do for me,
you nasty frog? My golden ball has fallen into the spring.'
The frog said, 'I do not want your pearls,
and jewels, and fine clothes; but if you will love me,
and let me live with you and eat from off your golden
plate, and sleep on your bed, I will bring you your ball again.'
'What nonsense,' thought the princess,
'this silly frog is talking! He can never even get out
of the spring to visit me, though he may be able
to get my ball for me, and therefore I will tell him
he shall have what he asks.'
So she said to the frog, 'Well, if you will bring me
my ball, I will do all you ask.'
Then the frog put his head down, and dived
deep under the water; and after a little while he came
up again, with the ball in his mouth, and threw
it on the edge of the spring.
As soon as the young princess saw her ball,
she ran to pick it up; and she was so overjoyed to
have it in her hand again, that she never thought
of the frog, but ran home with it as fast as she could.
Story by Brothers Grimm
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