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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

She gave it to Kubik and said:

“Now hurry home, 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 one had was a small cheap kerchief of no value whatever.

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

The kerchief of the second had cost a few cents more.

“A little better,” the old man mumbled. “Perhaps it’s good enough for a farmer. 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 pulled out a parcel from under his shirt.

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

But when Kubik opened the paper they stopped laughing, and well they might, for there was a silken kerchief so big that it could have covered the whole room and so richly embroidered that any princess in the world would have been proud to own it.

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

“Now, my sons,” he said, “you will all have to make another trial. But this time it will not be for a ring or a kerchief. This time bring home your brides and he whose bride is the most beautiful shall be my heir.”

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

“I don’t want to see Kachenka again,” poor Kubik said to himself. “Twice I’ve brought back the best betrothal gift and each time I’ve got a beating for it. I wonder what they would say if I brought home a frog for a bride! Then they would have something to laugh at!”

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

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