Thanks to Alison from The Cheap Reader for hosting such an awesome project. I’m in charge of sharing THE FROG PRINCE. Onwards then!
Known to many of us as THE FROG PRINCE it actually started out as THE FROG KING or IRON HENRY. Of course there are so many versions to the same folk tale so I chose to read HOUSEHOLD TALES BY THE BROTHERS GRIMM by Jacob Grimm. If you haven’t heard the tale before, it starts off with a beautiful princess and a golden ball. She’s out playing by the well one day when it falls out of her hands and sinks down to the bottom of the well.
And lo! A frog comes to the rescue…
“Ah! Oh water-splasher, is it thou?” said she; “I am weeping for my golden ball, which has fallen into the well.”
“Never fear princess, I shall save it.”
Ok not the frog’s reply but in all honesty that’s what he says. You know, in exchange for getting to eat and drink from her plate and cup. Not to mention share the same bed. The distraught princess agrees but after fetching the beloved ball she runs away.
What’s a frog to do but hop after her?
“Princess! youngest princess!
open the door for me!
Dost thou not know what thou saidst to me
Yesterday by the cool waters of the fountain?
Princess, youngest princess!
Open the door for me!”
The princess’s father, after hearing why there’s a frog at his doorstep and of her promise, demands she keep her word. But who would want the company of a frog? Digust turns into anger and our not so nice princess throws our dear frog against the wall.
“Now, thou wilt be quiet, most odious frog,” said she.
Poof. Our frog turns into a handsome prince that doesn’t seem to care that he just got thrown against the wall because the princess threw a temper tantrum. Such a nice frog- erm, King. In this version, he’s not a prince but a king with a kingdom waiting for his return. His faithful servant Henry, quite distraught after his king gets turned into a frog, had three bands of iron wrapped around his heart to keep it from bursting in grief. Now back as a human, while whisking the princess back to his kingdom, the king thinks he hears the carriage breaking but it is the bands of the faithful, happy Henry breaking. And they all lived happily ever after…
No kiss? In the original tale there was no kiss! That was a rather recent addition to the story. The frog gets turned into a
prince king by getting hurled at a wall after the princess tires of him. Very romantic right?
Far different from what we’re used to thinking when it comes to THE FROG PRINCE but it was so much fun reading all the different versions of the same tale. So maybe it has been romanticized more than we expected and the princess isn’t overflowing with kindness but it’s still very much one of the most renown tales from the Brothers Grimm. Speaking for myself, I rather liked it! The original tale was more engaging than I expected and I’d like to see if Henry pops up in any of the retellings I’m planning to read.
Check out some online versions here and here. I’ll have another post for Project: Fairy Tale next week, meanwhile enjoy some of the other fairy tales by clicking on the top banner for a complete list of participating blogs. Happy Reading!