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 IN times of yore, when wishes were both heard and granted, lived a king whose daughters were all beautiful but the youngest was so lovely that the sun himself, who has seen so much, wondered at her beauty every time he looked in her face. Now, near the king's castle was a large dark forest; and in the forest, under an old linden tree, was a deep well. When the day was very hot, the king's daughter used to go to the wood and seat herself at the edge of the cool well; and when she became wearied, she would take a golden ball, throw it up in the air, and catch it again. This was her favorite amusement. Once it happened that her golden ball, instead of falling back into the little hand that she stretched out for it, dropped on the ground, and immediately rolled away into the water. The king's daughter followed it with her eyes, but the ball had vanished, and the well was so deep that no one could see down to the bottom. Then she began to weep, wept louder and louder every minute, and could not console herself at all.  
While she was thus lamenting1 some one called to her: “What is the matter with you, king's daughter? You weep so that you would touch the heart of a stone.”
She looked around to see whence the voice came, and saw a frog stretching his thick ugly head out of the water.
“Ah! it is you, old water-paddler!” said she. “I am crying for my golden ball, which has fallen into the well.”
“Be content,” answered the frog; “I dare say I can give you some good advice; but what will you give me if I bring back your plaything to you?”
“Whatever you like, dear frog,” said she, “my clothes, my pearls and jewels, even the golden crown I wear.”
The frog answered, “Your clothes, your pearls and jewels, even your golden crown, I do not care for; but if you will love me, and let me be your companion and play-fellow, sit near you at your little table, eat from your little golden plate, drink from your little cup, and sleep in your little bed—if you will promise me this, then I will bring you back your golden ball from the bottom of the well.”
“Oh, yes!” said she; “I promise you every-thing, if you will only bring me back my golden ball.”
She thought to herself, meanwhile: “What nonsense the silly frog talks! He sits in the water with the other frogs, and croaks2, and cannot be anybody's playfellow!”
But the frog, as soon as he had received the promise dipped his head under the water and sank down. In a little while up he came again with the ball in his mouth, and threw it on the grass. The king's daughter was overjoyed when she beheld3 her pretty plaything again, picked it up, and ran away with it.
“Wait! wait!” cried the frog; “take me with you. I cannot run as fast as you.”
Alas4! of what use was it that he croaked5 after her as loud as he could. She would not listen to him, but hastened home, and soon forgot the poor frog, who was obliged to plunge6 again to the bottom of his well.
The next day, when she was sitting at dinner with the king and all the courtiers, eating from her little gold plate, there came a sound of something creeping up the marble staircase—splish, splash; and when it had reached the top, it knocked at the door and cried, “Youngest king's daughter, open to me.”
She ran, wishing to see who was outside; but when she opened the door and there sat the frog, she flung it hastily to again and sat down at table, feeling very, very uncomfortable. The king saw that her heart was beating violently, and said, “How, my child, why are you afraid? Is a giant standing7 outside the door to carry you off?”
“Oh, no!&r............
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