The Wonderful Frog
: The Folk-tales Of The Magyars
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?"
ed 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
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.