June 10, 2021

#08-095: The "Real" Frog Prince

deco-style graphic of an elegantly-dressed woman opening a door into a well-decorated area, and a frog on the checkered floor looking up at her
The frog asks permission to enter

Note: We all know the story: the princess kisses the frog, and he turns into a handsome prince, right? WRONG! Learn the true story in this lesson.

Get Ready: Do you think an act of violence can ever lead to a positive result? Why or why not?

"The Frog Prince" (or "Iron Henry") is one of those stories that we think we know--but do we? 

Once there was a king whose daughters were all beautiful, but the youngest was the most beautiful of all. Indeed, the sun itself, which has shone on everything, marveled every time he saw her face.

In the vicinity of the king's castle was a dark forest, and under a particularly large tree there was a well. The princess would often go into the forest in the heat of the day and sit on the edge of the well, tossing her little golden ball into the air and catching it again.

One day, she missed. The ball rolled into the well and, although she followed it with her eyes, it disappeared beneath the water. She could not console herself, but cried and cried.

As she lamented, a voice said, "Princess! Why so sad? Your crying would move a stone to pity." The voice belonged to an ugly old frog who lived in a well. Spying him, the princess said, "Oh, it's you, old splasher! I'm crying because my ball, my favorite plaything, has fallen into the well."

"If I bring it to you," the frog asked, "what will you give me in compensation?"

"Anything!" she exclaimed. "Clothes, jewels, pearls, even gold!"

"What need has a frog of such things?" he mused. "No, all I want in return is for you to accept me as your friend, and let me dine from your golden plate and sleep in your bed."

"Oh, I promise!" said the princess, not meaning a word of it.

And so the frog fetched the ball, and the princess accepted it from him--and ran away with it! The frog could not possibly keep up.

The next day, at dinner time, there was a squishy knock on the door, and a voice cried out, "Youngest princess, open the door me, your friend!" She went to the door and saw the frog there--and immediately slammed the door and returned to the table.

Seeing she was agitated, the king asked what was wrong. When at last she told the whole story, her father insisted that as a princess she must keep her word.

Step by step, the princess reluctantly obeyed. She let the frog eat from her plate, and at bedtime took him upstairs--carrying him by two fingers at arm's length. She tried to make him sleep in a corner, but he threatened to tell her father that she was breaking her promise.

So angry was the princes that she picked the frog up, all right--and dashed him against the wall!

With that, he was transformed into a handsome prince. He explained that he had been placed under an enchantment by a wicked witch, but now that he was restored, he would take her to his kingdom and marry her.

On the way home, in his richly-appointed carriage, the prince heard something break--three times! "Henry," he said to the driver, "It sounds like the carriage is breaking apart!"

No, Henry explained; when the prince went away, Henry's heart was breaking. So he had three bands fashioned around his heart, but now, with his master returned and happy, Henry's heart was finally free.


Read more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Frog_Prince

Practice: Match the term to its definition below:

  1. agitated
  2. appointed
  3. compensation
  4. enchantment
  5. fashioned
  6. fetched
  7. mused
  8. reluctantly
  9. spying
  10. vicinity

  1. thought; reflected
  2. pay; return
  3. a spell
  4. made
  5. brought
  6. an area; a neighborhood
  7. without enthusiasm
  8. upset
  9. decorated
  10. seeing

Answers are in the first comment below.

Submitted to the Shenzhen Daily for June 10, 2021

1 comment:

  1. Answers to the Practice: 1. h; 2. i; 3. b; 4. c; 5. d; 6. e; 7. a; 8. g; 9. j; 10. f