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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

“Kubik!” the farmer cried when at last he found his voice, “where did you get that ring? You must have stolen it, you wicked boy!” And without waiting to hear what Kubik had to say, he reached for a whip and trounced the poor lad to within an inch of his life. Then he took the ring and hid it carefully away.

“Now, my boys,” he said to his sons, “you will all have to make another trial. This time ask of your promised brides the gift of an embroidered kerchief and he who brings back the most beautiful kerchief shall be my heir.”

So the next day the three sons again started out, each in a different direction.

Kubik thought to himself: “I won’t go the way I went yesterday or I may meet that old frog again and then, when I get home, the only prize I’ll get will be another beating.”

So he took a different path but he hadn’t gone far before the old frog hopped up in front of him.

“What’s the matter, Kubik?” she asked.

At first Kubik didn’t want to tell her but she questioned him and finally, not to seem rude, he told her about the beating his father had given him on account of Kachenka’s ring and about the new quest for embroidered kerchiefs upon which his father was now sending him and his brothers.

“Now don’t think any more about that whipping,” the old frog advised him. “And as for an embroidered kerchief, why, Kachenka is the very girl for that! She will give you one that will make your brothers open their eyes!”

Kubik wasn’t sure that he wanted to accept another of Kachenka’s gifts, but the old frog urged him and at last he agreed. So again they took the path to the rocky cliff. The old frog called her daughter out as before and presently Kachenka appeared dragging a chest that was filled with the most wonderful of kerchiefs, all of fine silk and all richly embroidered and so large that they were more like shawls than kerchiefs.

Kubik reached in and took the first that came to hand.

“Tut, tut!” the old frog said. “That’s no way to select a kerchief.”

Then she herself picked out the biggest and the most richly embroidered of them all and wrapped it up in paper.

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