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 favorite
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