In olden times, when wishing still did some good, there lived a king whose daughters were all beautiful, but the youngest was so beautiful that the sun itself, who, indeed, has seen so much, marveled every time it shone upon her face. In the vicinity of the king’s castle there was a large, dark forest, and in this forest, beneath an old linden tree, there was a well. In the heat of the day the princess would go out into the forest and sit on the edge of the cool well. To pass the time she would take a golden ball, throw it into the air, and then catch it. It was her favorite plaything.
Now one day it happened that the princess’s golden ball did not fall into her hands, that she held up high, but instead it fell to the ground and rolled right into the water. The princess followed it with her eyes, but the ball disappeared, and the well was so deep that she could not see its bottom. Then she began to cry. She cried louder and louder, and she could not console herself.
As she was thus lamenting, someone called out to her, “What is the matter with you, princess? Your crying would turn a stone to pity.”
She looked around to see where the voice was coming from and saw a frog..
Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, Der Froschkönig oder der eiserne Heinrich, Kinder- und Hausmärchen, no. 1. Translated by D. L. Ashliman. © 1999-2002.