THE FROG PRINCE. 33
" Oh, is it you, old waddler?" said she; " I weep because my golden ball has fallen into the well."
"Never mind, do not weep," answered the frog; "I can help you; but what will you give me if I fetch up your ball again ? "
" Whatever you like, dear frog," said she; " any of my clothes, my pearls and jewels, or even the golden crown that I wear."
" Thy clothes, thy pearls and jewels, and thy golden crown are not for me," answered the frog; " but if thou wouldst love me, and have me for thy companion and play-fellow, and let me sit by thee at table, and eat from thy plate, and drink from thy cup, and sleep in thy little bed,—if thou wouldst promise all this, then would I dive below the water and fetch thee thy golden ball again."
" Oh yes," she answered ; "I will promise it all, whatever you want, if you will only get me my ball again."
But she thought to herself, "What nonsense he talks ! as if he could do anything but sit in the water and croak with the other frogs, or could possibly be any one's companion."
But the frog, as soon as he heard her promise, drew his head under the water and sank down out of sight, but after a while he came to the surface again with the ball in his mouth, and he threw it on the grass.
The King's daughter was overjoyed to see her pretty plaything again, and she caught it up and ran off with it.
" Stop, stop !" cried the frog; " take me up too; I cannot run as fast as you !"
But it was of no use, for croak, croak after her as he might, she would not listen to him, but made haste home, and very soon forgot all about the poor frog, who had to betake himself to his well again.
The next day, when the King's daughter was sitting at table with the King and all the court, and eating from her golden plate, there came something pitter patter up the marble stairs, and then there came a knocking at the door, and a voice crying " Youngest King's daughter, let me in !"
And she got up and ran to see who it could be, but when she opened the door, there was the frog sitting outside. Then she shut the door hastily and went back to her seat, feeling very