Folk-Tales of the Magyars, The UNDER CONSTRUCTION | Annotated Tale

Wonderful Frog, The


THERE was once, I don't know where, a man who had three daughters. One day the father thus spoke to the eldest girl: "Go, my daughter, and fetch me some fresh water from the well." The girl went, but when she came to the well a huge frog called out to her from the bottom, that he would not allow her to draw water in her jug until she threw him down the gold ring on her finger. "Nothing else? is that all you want?" replied the girl, "I won't give away my rings to such an ugly creature as you," and she returned as she came with the empty pitchers. So the father sent the second girl, and she fared as the first; the frog would not let her have any water, as she refused to throw down her gold ring. Her father gave his two elder daughters a good scolding, and then thus addressed the youngest: "You go, Betsie, my dear, you have always been a clever girl: I'm sure you will be able to get some water, and will not allow your father to suffer thirst; go, shame your sisters!" Betsie picked up the pitchers and went, but the frog again refused the water unless she threw her ring down; but she, as she was very fond of her father, threw the ring in as demanded, and returned home with full pitchers to her father's great delight.

               In the evening, as soon as darkness set in, the frog crawled out of the well, and thus commenced to shout in front of Betsie's father's door: "Father-in-law! father-in-law! I should like something to eat." The man got angry, and called out to his daughters; "Give something in a broken plate to that ugly frog to gnaw." "Father-in-law! father-in-law! this won't do for me; I want some roast meat on a tin plate," retorted the frog. "Give him something on a tin plate then, or else he will cast a spell on us," said the father. The frog began to eat heartily, and, having had enough, again commenced to croak: "Father-in-law! father-in-law! I want something to drink." "Give him some slops in a broken pot," said the father. "Father-in-law! father-in-law! I won't have this; I want some wine in a nice tumbler." "Give him some wine then," angrily called out the father. He guzzled up his wine and began again: "Father-in-law! Father-in-law! I would like to go to sleep." "Throw him some rags in a corner," was the reply. "Father-in-law! father-in-law! I won't have that; I want a silk bed," croaked the frog. This was also given to him; but no sooner has he gone to bed than again he began to croak, "Father-in-law! father-in-law! I want a girl, indeed." "Go, my daughter, and lie by the side of him," said the father to the eldest. "Father-in-law! father-in law! I don't want that, I want another." The father sent the second girl, but the frog again croaked: "Father-in-law! father-in-law! I don't want that, Betsie is the girl I want." "Go, my Betsie," said the father, quite disheartened, "else this confounded monster will cast a spell on us." So Betsie went to bed with the frog, but her father thoughtfully left a lamp burning on the top of the oven; noticing which, the frog crawled out of bed and blew the lamp out.

               The father lighted it again, but the frog put it out as before, and so it happened a third time. The father saw that the frog would not yield, and was therefore obliged to leave his dear little Betsie in the dark by the side of the ugly frog, and felt great anxiety about her. In the morning, when the father and the two elder girls got up, they opened their eyes and mouths wide in astonishment, because the frog had disappeared, and by the side of Betsie they found a handsome Magyar lad, with auburn locks, in a beautiful costume, with gold braid and buttons and gold spurs on his boots. The handsome lad asked for Betsie's hand, and, having received the father's consent, they hastened to celebrate the wedding, so that christening might not follow the wedding too soon.

               The two elder sisters looked with invidious eyes on Betsie, as they also were very much smitten with the handsome lad. Betsie was very happy after, so happy that if anyone doubt it he can satisfy himself with his own eyes. If she is still alive, let him go and look for her, and try to find her in this big world.


Bibliographic Information

Tale Title: Wonderful Frog, The
Tale Author/Editor: Jones, W. Henry & Kropf, Lewis L.
Book Title: Folk-Tales of the Magyars, The UNDER CONSTRUCTION
Book Author/Editor: Jones, W. Henry & Kropf, Lewis L.
Publisher: Elliot Stock
Publication City: London
Year of Publication: 1889
Country of Origin: Hungary

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