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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

“You don’t know us, do you, Kubik?” the older lady said. “I was that old frog who coaxed you to the cliff and this, my beautiful daughter, was the other little frog, the very ugly one, that you feared you would have to take home to your father’s house as your bride. You see, Kubik, we were all under an evil enchantment. Many years ago a wicked magician brought ruin on us and our kingdom. He changed our subjects into snakes and us into frogs and turned our fine city into a rocky cliff. Nothing could break the enchantment until some one should come and ask a betrothal gift from my daughter. We lived in the forest for years and years and all those years I begged all the people who wandered by to help us but they only trod on us or turned away from us in disgust. You, Kubik, were the first not to scorn us for our ugly looks. By this you broke the evil spell that held us and now we are all free. As a reward you shall marry my daughter, the Princess Kachenka, and be made king!”

Then the old queen took Kubik by the hand and led him to the royal coach, where she made him sit between her and the princess. Music played and the people cheered, and in this style they drove to Kubik’s native village and to his father’s house.

The old man was in the yard chopping firewood and his older sons were helping him. They, too, had brought home their brides, plain country girls from poor farms, and at that moment they were all awaiting Kubik’s arrival.

“Look, father,” the oldest son cried, “some fine folk are turning in here!”

“We’re not behind in our taxes, are we?” the second son asked.

“Hush!” the old man whispered. “I have nothing to fear. My affairs are all in good order.”

He put his cap respectfully under his arm and stood bareheaded and both his sons followed his example.

The coach drove straight into the yard and a handsome young lord and two beautiful ladies alighted. The handsome young lord greeted the old man and his sons and they bowed and scraped and pressed their hats under their arms tighter and tighter.

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