This tale actually hasn’t changed a lot over the years, other than the Disney film. Then again, the story is a short one that wouldn’t lend itself to the silver screen very well without some added extras.
The stories always start the same way; a young princess is playing with her favorite gold ball when she drops it into a well. Distressed by the loss of her toy, the princess begins to cry. A frog offers to retrieve the ball if she will be his friend and take him back to her castle. The princess immediately agrees. Then, because she finds the frog ugly and unsettling, she leaves him there and returns home. The frog follows her and disrupts the family’s dinner. When the king learns of the princess’s promise, he insists she keep her word. The frog becomes a guest, following the princess everywhere. In some tellings, the princess learns to care for the frog and kisses him, breaking a witch’s spell and turning him back into a handsome prince. In other variations, the spell is broken after the frog sleeps on the princess’s pillow. So the moral of the story is to always keep your word and you’ll be rewarded.
Of course, in the original tale, the princess was a spoiled brat who somehow broke the spell by throwing the frog against a wall.
Did I surprise you? Or have you come to expect the more violent origins?
Until next time, fellow wonderers!