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Main > Czechoslovak folktale > Fairy tale "The Betrothal Gifts: The Story of Kubik and the Frog"

The Betrothal Gifts: The Story of Kubik and the Frog

The frog hopped into one of these and called out:

“Kachenka, my child, where are you? Here is Kubik come to woo you and to beg a betrothal gift. Bring out your little box of rings.”

Instantly a second frog appeared dragging a heavy jewel casket. Kachenka, alas, was a hundred times uglier than her mother. Her legs were crooked, her face was all covered with spots, and when she spoke her voice was hoarse and croaking.

For a moment Kubik shivered and turned away in disgust, but only for a moment until he remembered that it wasn’t Kachenka’s fault that she was a frog.

The two frogs put the casket before him and opened it and Kubik saw that it was filled with a collection of the rarest and most beautiful rings in the world.

“Make your own choice, Kubik,” the old frog said.

Kubik selected as plain a ring as there was, for he was ashamed to take one of the handsomest.

“Not that one!” the old frog said, “unless you want your brothers to laugh at you.”

Thereupon she herself picked out the ring that had the biggest diamond of them all, wrapped it up carefully in paper, and handed it to Kubik.

“Now hurry home,” she said, “for your brothers are already there and your father is waiting for you.”

As soon as Kubik reached home the farmer called his three sons together and demanded to be shown their betrothal gifts.

All the eldest son had was a common brass ring.

“Um,” the farmer said, shaking his head. “Well, put it away for a keepsake.”

The second son showed a silver ring that was worth a few cents more.

“A little better,” the old man mumbled, “but not good enough for a farmer. Put it away for a keepsake. And now,” he said, turning to his youngest son, “let us see what Kubik has brought from his promised bride.”

They all looked at Kubik, and Kubik blushed as he felt in his pocket for the little package.

“Ho, ho!” his brothers laughed. “Kubik has such a fine ring that he has to keep it wrapped up.”

But when he opened the paper they stopped laughing, and well they might, for there was a great diamond that sparkled and blazed until it seemed that the sun was shining in the room.

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