In the elder times, wherein wishes still helped, lived a king, whose daughters were all fair; but the youngest was so fair that the son itself, who yet has seen so many things, was amazed, whenever it shined on her mug. Nigh by the king's keep lay a great, dark wold, and in the wold under an old linden was a well; now when the day was well hot, so went the kingschild afield into the wold and sat down at the cool well's brim - and if she had a longwhile, so took she a golden ball, threw it in the heights and trapped it again; and this was her dearest plaything.
Now it so happened that the golden ball didn't fall into the kingsdaughter's hand which she had thrown in the heights, but rather struck upon the earth and well-nigh rolled into the water. The kingsdaughter followed after it with the eyes, but the ball aswand, and the well was deep, so deep that one saw no ground. So began she to weep and wept ever louder and could take heart in nothing. And as she wailed, so called someone to her: "What have you afore, kingsdaughter? You bewail aye, as to move even a stone to mildheartedness." She looked about herself, from whence the stefin came, there beheld she a frog which stretched its thick, ugly head from out the water. "Oh, it's you, old watersplasher," said she, "I weep for my golden ball which is fallen-me downward into the well." - "Stay calm and do not weep," answered the frog, "I can help you well, but what give you me if I fetch up your ball anew?" - "Whatever you want to have, dear frog," said she; "my clothes, my seabeads and highbornstones, even the golden kingmaidenswreath that I wear." The frog answered: "Your clothes, your seabeads and highbornstones and golden kingmaidenswreath. I do not like them: but if you will have me fondly, and I shall be your journeyman and playfellow, sit near you at your boardling, eat from your golden discling, drink from your mugling, sleep in your bedling: if you will forespeak me that, so will I dive downward and fetch you up the golden ball anew." - "Oh yes," said she. "I forespeak you all that you want if only you bring me the ball anew.." She thought however: What the shallow-brained frog prates! It sits in the water by its kind and croaks and can no man's journeyman be.
The frog, as he had kept his undertaking, swamped his head under, sank downward, and over a little while came he paddling upward anew, had the ball in his maw and threw it in the grass. The kingsdaughter was full of bliss, as she beheld her favorite plaything anew, lifted it up and sprang away with it. "Wait, wait," yelled the frog, "take me with you, I cannot run like you can!" But what helped it him that he croaked as loud as he could! She heard it not, hastened toward her house and had soon forgotten the poor frog, who had to sink downward into his well anew.