Greetings, Champions! The latest short story is: Dressing Up! This is a really cute one with Ariane hanging out with a bunch of B&B characters, so I hope you like it!
Today, in celebration of the release of Frog Prince, we’re going to go over the original story. Before we get started I would like to note that I really gutted this fairy tale when I created my own version. It still has most of the important parts, but I broke them up and made some pretty drastic changes because 1) both of the main characters in the original story are pretty detestable 2) Lucien’s arrogant personality and my world itself wouldn’t have allowed for me to completely adapt the story.
Okay, are you ready? Let’s dive in!
The “original” Frog Prince story was recorded by the Brothers Grimm, but it was known as “the Frog Prince or Iron Henry,” and it actually has two different endings running around. I wasn’t able to track down the year the original story was released, but the modified version (the alternate ending that is now considered the “true” ending) was released in 1823 by Edgar Taylor.
All versions of Frog Prince begin with a young princess who ventures outside and sits next to a well (Grimm version) or a spring (Taylor version). She has a golden ball that she throws up in the air and then catches, but while playing she fails to catch her ball and the thing drops into the deep well/pond.
The princess concludes she won’t be able to retrieve it, and declares she would give up her clothes, pearls, anything to have this ball back. (It seems to me someone needs to learn the evils of materialism. And impulsive decisions. I mean, really?!)
A frog hears the princess and asks her what is wrong. The princess nastily calls him ugly and explains what happened. The frog offers to retrieve the ball if she lets him eat from her plate and sleep in her bed, and treats him like a companion.
This should have been the princess’s first warning, because any living creature that demands a payment like that obvious has some wacko motives, but the princess rather craftily realizes the frog has no way to make her carry out this payment as he is stuck in his well/spring, so she agrees. (She’s actually quite verbally abusive to the frog, and insults him a lot.)
The frog retrieves the ball, and as soon as the princess recovers it she runs off before he has a chance to stop her or remind her of her promise.
The princess is pretty happy because she thinks she’s home free, but unfortunately for her the following day when she is at dinner with her father the King, there’s a knock on the castle door. The princess answers the door (You’ve got some lax security there, oh King) and sees frog sitting outside waiting for her. Frightened, she slams the door shut and returns to dinner. Her father asks her why she looks so frightened, and she explains the promise she made to the king.
Next the frog shouts this weird poem-ditty through the door like a total creeper-stalker, and the King tells the princess she better open up the door and keep her promise. So the princess goes and gets the frog, who gets super pushy and demands that he sit on the table and she move her plate so he could also eat from it.
When dinner is over the frog demands that she take him to her bedroom to sleep in her bed with her. (This would be a great time to step in, Dad!) The princess doesn’t want to, but the king tells her she must keep her promise. (Okay, that’s not what I meant when I said step in!)
So the princess carries the frog with two fingers because she doesn’t want to touch him, and when they get to her room instead of putting the frog on her bed, she throws him against the wall. Surprisingly, this makes the frog transform into his true form: a prince!
In the modified version, which is now usually considered the true ending, she lets him sleep in her bed with her and goes through this torture for THREE DAYS before the frog transforms into the prince he really is. Also, the modified version says the prince was turned into a frog by a vindictive fairy whereas the original gives no reason for the transformation.
The following day the Prince and Princess come down to the castle entrance where Henry–the prince’s faithful servant–is waiting with a carriage. Henry had been so sad when the prince was turned into a frog he had to have three iron bands placed around his heart so it wouldn’t break. When he sees his master fully restored, he is so happy that the iron bands break. Henry then drives the prince and princess back to the prince’s lands.
So that’s the original fairy tale! In spite of popular belief, there was no kissing at all involved in the story. Though I do have to say this is a very rare case in which I think the two main characters actually deserve each other. The prince is waaayy beyond pushy, but the princess is little more than a harpy as she constantly insulted the prince when he was a frog.
Anyway! I hope you all found that amusing, Champions. Until next time–when we discuss the ways I adapted the story!
The short story is just beautiful! Oh my goodness, I loved it so much! It was just so perfect, hearing the characters from Beauty and the Beast talk. Ahhh 🙂 🙂 🙂
I’m gonna go and read it again, and then that scene from Beauty and the Beast . . .;)
I’m glad you liked it! It was so nice to be able to give all of those well loved characters actual voices. (It was also fun to show how Elle and the Chateau servants still adore each other, even if Elle does make their hair stand on end occasionally with her physical feats.)
Thank you for writing these posts on the origins of the stories. They are super interesting. I had the exact same thoughts when I was rereading the original. Seriously, the only decent person in the story is poor Henry!
I totally agree with you! The moral of this story has always mystified me; How to get a Prince: chuck harmless woodland creatures against walls after being a brat to them
Yup that seems about right
Lol. It leads you to wonder who actually thought of stories like this, and then why it became so extremely popular.
(Is there really a lot of appeal to a pushy frog-turned-prince because he was chucked against a wall?)
AHAHAHAH LOL I love both of your observations! But yeah, fairy tales are weeeiiiirdd. I think they have a lot of symbolism that we don’t recognize, but I think the stories also commonly used hyperbole–which is something we don’t really like in our stories now days. (Cinderella’s prince still irks me for his inability to tell WHO SHE WAS. Uggghhh.)