Then she began to weep, and she wept and wept as if she could never be comforted.  And in the midst of her weeping she heard a voice saying to her,  »What ails thee, king's daughter?  thy tears would melt a heart of stone.«

And when she looked to see where the voice came from there was nothing but a frog stretching his thick ugly head out of the water.  »Oh, is it you, old waddler?«  said she.  »I weep because my golden ball has fallen into the well.«—»Never mind, do not weep,«  answered the frog;  »I can help you, but what will you give me if I fetch up your ball again?«—»Whatever you like, dear frog,« said she; »any of my clothes, my pearls and jewels, or even the golden crown that I wear.«

»Thy clothes, thy pearls and jewels, and thy golden crown are not for me,«  answered the frog;  »but if thou wouldst love me and have me for thy companion and play-fellow, and let me sit by thee at table, and eat from thy plate, and drink from thy cup, and sleep in thy little bed,—if thou wouldst promise all this, then would I dive below the water and fetch thee thy golden ball again.«—»Oh yes,« she answered;  »I will promise it all, whatever you want, if you will only get me my ball again.«  But she thought to herself,  ›What nonsense he talks!  as if he could do anything but sit in the water and croak with the other frogs, or could possibly be a human's companion.‹