The Frog-King: Did the Princess Kiss the Frog?

Arthur Rackham's Frog Prince
Arthur Rackham’s Frog Prince

Did the princess really kiss the frog prince?

Yes and no. It depends. In the original Grimm’s Fairy Tale “The Frog King,” no, she did not. She throws the frog against the wall and then he turns into a prince. In other versions of the tale, the frog transforms into a prince after sleeping on the princess’s pillow for three nights.

In the original Grimm’s version, a beautiful princess drops her beloved golden ball down a well, and the frog, after extracting a promise from her that he could become her close companion, retrieves it for her. Disgusted by the frog’s presence, the princess later throws him against a wall. He transforms into a prince, and they marry. Though why he would want to marry such a brainless, frivolous girl, I don’t know. But then Grimm’s tales aren’t the sweet stories we’ve come to associate with fairy tales. Some have called the original Grimm tales, which are being published now their anniversary, “unvarnished,” so the beloved tales most of us think of, like ones where princesses kiss frogs, must be varnished tales. I, for one, prefer the varnished, sweeter tales.

Conclusion: This story was entertaining, but more for its historical value than anything else.

My favorite lines: “In old times, when wishing still helped one…”

“The King saw plainly that her heart was beating violently…”
-He can see her heart beating? Anything’s possible in a fairy tale, I guess.

“My child, what art thou so afraid of? Is there perchance a giant outside who wants to carry thee away?”
-That’s always my first question when someone looks afraid.

Other points of interest: I like the adage associated with the story: “You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your handsome prince.”

King Harold from the films Shrek 2 and Shrek the Third is supposed to be the Frog Prince.

Story Connection: For a cute tale of princesses who kiss frog princes, read E. D. Baker’s The Frog Princess, the book on which Disney’s Princess and the Frog is loosely based.

Have you ever read The Frog King (or the Frog Prince)? What are your thoughts on it?

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