Image: cute princess kissing a frog By matiasdelcarmine / adobe
Once upon a time there was a rich farmer woman who had three sons. One day all three told their mother they wanted to get married. To which their mother replied:
“Do as you like, but see that you choose good wives, and to make certain of this, take with you these three balls of wool, and give it to the girls to knit. Whoever knits the best pair of socks will be my favourite daughter-in-law.”
This is one of Prince Bertie’s favourite stories. It is about an extremely clever girl-frog who helps out out a young man in distress.
The Frog -
Hi everybody. My name is Natasha, and I’ve been commanded by His Royal Highness, Prince Bertie the Frog, to tell you a Storynory.
Did you know that Prince Bertie lives in a pond, not a palace? His friend, Tim the Tadpole, asked him yesterday: “Prince Bertie, when I grow up, will I be a green frog just like you?” Do you know what Bertie told him? Really, you haven’t heard what Prince Bertie said to Tim the Tadpole? Well Prince Bertie said to Tim the Tadpole: “If you want to grow up to be a nice green frog like me, you have to eat up lots and lots of green, green slime, little Tim.”
If enough children keep listening to Prince Bertie’s stories, Tim the Tadpole will eat up his slime and grow into a handsome frog just like Bertie. So keep listening, and tell all your friends to tune into to Storynory.com as well.
Now… Do you really, really want me to read a Storynory? (Pause) Did you say yes? Alright, listen quietly, and I will tell you the Storynory of The Frog, from The Violet Fairy Book by Andrew Lang.
Proofread by Claire Deakin & Jana Elizabeth.
THE FROG -
Once upon a time there was a rich farmer woman who had three sons. One day all three told their mother they wanted to get married. To which their mother replied: “Do as you like, but see that you choose good wives; and to make certain of this, take with you these three balls of wool, and give it to the girls to knit. Whoever knits the best pair of socks will be my favourite daughter-in-law.”
Now the two eldest sons had already chosen their wives; so they took the wool from their mother, and carried it off with them, to have it knitted as she had said. The youngest son, however, was puzzled what to do with his wool, as he knew no girl (never having spoken to any) to whom he could give it to be knitted. He wandered here and there, asking the girls that he met if they would undertake the job for him, but at the sight of the wool they laughed in his face and teased him. Then in despair he left their villages, and went out into the country, and sitting on the bank of a pond, began to cry bitterly.
Suddenly there was a noise close beside him, and a frog jumped out of the water on to the bank and asked him why he was crying. The young man told her of his trouble, and how his brothers would bring home beautifully knitted pairs of socks from their promised wives, but that no one would knit his socks for him.
Then the frog answered: “Do not weep because of that. Give me the wool, and I will knit it for you.” Having said this, she took it out of his hand, and flopped back into the water, and the youth went back, not knowing what would happen next.
In a short time the two elder brothers came home, and their mother asked to see the pairs of socks that had been knitted out of the wool that she had given them. All three left the room; and in a few minutes the two eldest returned, bringing with them the socks that had been knitted by their chosen wives – but the youngest brother was greatly troubled – for he had nothing to show. Sadly he took himself to the pond, and sitting down on the bank, began to weep.
Flop! And the frog appeared out of the water close beside him. “Take this,” she said. “Here are the socks that I have knitted for you.”
You may imagine how delighted the young man was. She put the socks into his hands, and he took it straight back to his mother, who was so pleased with it that she declared she had never seen such beautiful warm woollen socks, and that they were much nicer than the socks that the two elder brothers had brought home.
Then she turned to her sons and said: “This is not enough, my sons. I must have other proof as to what sort of wives you have chosen. In the house there are three puppies. Each of you take one, and give it to the woman whom you mean to bring home as your wife. She must train it and bring it up. Whichever dog turns out the best, its mistress will be my favourite daughter-in-law.”
So the young men set out on their different ways, each taking a puppy with him. The youngest, not knowing where to go, returned to the pond, sat down once more on the bank, and began to weep.
Flop! Close beside him, he saw the frog. “Why are you weeping?” She said. Then he told her his difficulty, and that he did not know to whom he should take the puppy.
“Give it to me,” she said, “and I will bring it up for you.” And, seeing that the youth hesitated, she took the little creature out of his arms, and disappeared with it into the pond.
The weeks and months passed, until one day the mother said she would like to see how the dogs had been trained by her future daughter-in-laws. The two eldest sons departed, and returned shortly, leading with them two great guard dogs, who growled so fiercely and looked so savage, that the mere sight of them made the mother tremble with fear. The youngest son, as was his way, went to the pond, and called on the frog to come to his rescue.
In a minute she was at his side, bringing with her the most lovely little dog, which she put into his arms. It sat up and begged with its paws, and went through the prettiest tricks, and was almost human in the way it understood and did what it was told.
In high spirits the youth carried it off to his mother. As soon as she saw it, she exclaimed: “This is the most beautiful little dog I have ever seen! You are indeed fortunate, my son. You have won a pearl of a wife!” Then, turning to the others, she said: “Here are three shirts. Take them to your chosen wives. Whoever sews the best will be my favourite daughter-in-law.”
So the young men set out once more; and again, the work of the frog was much the best and the neatest. This time the mother said: “Now that I am content with the tests I gave, I want you to go and fetch home your girls, and I will prepare the wedding feast.”
You may imagine what the youngest brother felt on hearing these words. Where would he find a girl to marry? Would the frog be able to help him in this new difficulty? With a bowed head, and feeling very sad, he sat down on the edge of the pond.
Flop! And once more the faithful frog was beside him. “What is troubling you so much?” She asked him, and then the youth told her everything.
“Will you take me for a wife?” She asked. “What should I do with you as a wife?” He replied, wondering at her strange proposal.
“Once more, will you have me or will you not?” She said.
“I will neither have you, nor will I refuse you,” said he. At this the frog disappeared, and the next minute the youth beheld a lovely little cart, drawn by two tiny ponies, standing on the road. The frog was holding the carriage door open for him to step in.
“Come with me,” she said. So he got up and followed her into the cart.
As they drove along the road they met three witches; the first of them was blind, the second was hunchbacked, and the third had a large thorn in her throat.
When the three witches beheld the cart, with the frog seated pompously among the cushions, they broke into such fits of laughter that the eyelids of the blind one burst open, and she recovered her sight; the hunchback rolled about on the ground in merriment until her back became straight; and in a roar of laughter the thorn fell out of the throat of the third witch.
Their first thought was to reward the frog, who had accidentally cured their misfortunes. The first witch waved her magic wand over the frog, and changed her into the loveliest girl that had ever been seen. The second witch waved the wand over the tiny cart and ponies, and they were turned into a beautiful large carriage with prancing horses, and a coachman on the seat. The third witch gave the girl a magic purse, filled with money.
Having done this, the witches disappeared, and the youth with his lovely bride drove to his mother’s home. The mother was delighted to see her youngest son’s good fortune. A beautiful house was built for them. She was the favourite daughter-in-law. Everything went well with them, and they lived happily ever after.
And that was the Storynory of The Frog from Andrew Lang’s Violet book of Fairy Tales. It’s one of Prince Bertie’s favourite stories. Bertie especially likes Storynories about frogs. Do you?
Prince Bertie would like you to meet all his new friends at his lovely green and purple website. You can see what he looks like there. So drop by at Storynory.com.
I’ll be telling you another Storynory soon, so keep coming back for more stories. For now, from me, Natasha. Bye Bye.