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The Frog Prince
Once upon a time, there lived a princess who adored objects made of gold. Her favorite toy in the world was a golden ball.
On hot days, she liked to sit beside an old well in the cool forest, tossing the ball in the air. One day, the ball slipped from her fingers into the well, which was so deep that the princess could not see the bottom.
"Oh dear! I'll never find it!" the princess said, and she began to cry.
Suddenly, a voice called out from below.
"What's the matter, beautiful princess? Why are you crying?"
The princess looked all around but couldn't see anyone.
"Down here, " said the little voice.
The princess looked down and saw a green frog poking its head out of the water.
"Oh, it's only you," she said. "If you must know, I'm upset because my golden ball fell into the well."
"I could get it back for you," said the frog.
"But what will you give me as a reward?"
Whatever you like, frog. How about my pearls and jewels," the princess suggested. "Or perhaps my golden crown?"
"What would I do with a crown?" said the frog.
"But I'll get your ball if you promise I can be your best friend, and come for dinner and sleep over at your house."
All right. You can be my best friend," said the princess. But secretly she thought the frog was talking a whole lot of nonsense.
The frog dove deep into the well and soon returned with the golden ball in its mouth. As soon as the frog dropped the ball at the princess's feet, she grabbed it and ran home, without even a thank you.
"Wait!" called the frog. "I can't run that fast."
But the princess paid no attention to him.
The princess forgot all about the frog, but the next day, as she was eating dinner with her family, she heard something come crawling splish-splash up the marble steps of the castle.
Then a voice called, "Princess, open the door!"
The curious princess ran to open it, but when she saw the frog standing there, all green and dripping, she slammed the door in his face.
The king could tell that something was the matter.
"Has a giant come to get you?" he asked.
"Oh, no, father. It's only an ugly frog," she replied.
"And what does a frog want with you?" asked the king.
As the princess explained, they heard more knocking.
"Let me in, Princess," the frog pleaded.
"Have you forgotten what you promised down by the well?"
" If you made a promise, daughter, you must keep it. Let him in," said the king.
With a long face, the princess opened the door. The frog followed her to the table and said, " Lift me up beside you."
"Don't be ridiculous," the princess said, but her father gave her such a look that she changed her mind.
The chair wasn't high enough so the frog asked to be lifted onto the table. And once there, he said, "Push your plate closer so I can share your dinner."
The princess moved her plate, but it was quite clear she didn't enjoy the rest of her meal. Once the frog had eaten his fill, he said, "I'm tired. Carry me upstairs so I can sleep in your room."
The thought of sharing her room with the cold damp frog so upset the princess that she began to cry again. But the king said, "Be on your way. It's not right to turn your back on someone who helped you when you were in troublees," father," said the princess, and she carefully picked up the frog with two fingers. When she got to her room, she set the frog down in the corner farthest from her bed.
But soon she heard the frog plop down beside her.
"I'm tired, too," said the frog. "Lift me into bed, or I'll tell your father."
So the princess tucked the frog into bed, with his little green head resting on a fluffy pillow.
But when she got back into her bed, she was surprised to hear the frog sobbing quietly.
"What's the matter now, little frog?" she asked.
"All I ever wanted was a friend," the frog replied. "But it's clear you don't like me at all! I might as well go back to the well."
At this, the princess felt very badly indeed.
She sat down on the edge of the frog's bed.
"I'll be your friend," she said, and this time she meant it. Then the princess gave him a kiss goodnight on his small green cheek.
Instantly, the frog was transformed into a very handsome young prince! The princess could not have been more surprised or pleased.
Of course the prince and princess became very good friends indeed. A few years later, they were married and lived happily ever after.