The Little Singing Frog - The Story of a Girl Whose Parents were Ashamed of Her
There was once a poor laborer and his wife who had no children. Every day the woman would sigh and say:
"If only we had a child!"
Then the man would sigh, too, and say:
"It would be pleasant to have a little daughter, wouldn't it?"
At last they went on a pilgrimage to a holy shrine and there they prayed God to give them a child.
"Any kind of a child!" the woman prayed. "I'd be thankful for a child of our own even if it were a frog!"
God heard their prayer and sent them a little daughter—not a little girl daughter, however, but a little frog daughter. They loved their little frog child dearly and played with her and laughed and clapped their hands as they watched her hopping about the house. But when the neighbors came in and whispered: "Why, that child of theirs is nothing but a frog!" they were ashamed and they decided that when people were about they had better keep their child hidden in a closet.
So the frog girl grew up without playmates of her own age, seeing only her father and mother. She used to play about her father as he worked. He was a vine-dresser in a big vineyard and of course it was great fun for the little frog girl to hop about among the vines.
Every day at noontime the woman used to come to the vineyard carrying her husband's dinner in a basket. The years went by and she grew old and feeble and the daily trip to the vineyard began to tire her and the basket seemed to her to grow heavier and heavier.
"Let me help you, mother," the frog daughter said. "Let me carry father's dinner to him and you sit home and rest."
So from that time on the frog girl instead of the old woman carried the dinner basket to the vineyard. While the old man ate, the frog girl would hop up into the branches of a tree and sing. She sang very sweetly and her old father, when he petted her, used to call her his Little Singing Frog.
Now one day while she was singing the Tsar's Youngest Son rode by and heard her. He stopped his horse and looked this way and that but for the life of him he couldn't see who it was who was singing so sweetly.