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“Surely it is an enchanted frog,” whispered the knights and ladies to each other.
“Now push your little golden plate up close to me, that we may eat together,” said the frog.
So they ate a few mouthfuls; then the little princess, angry and frightened, struck the frog with her knife and cried, “I hate you! I hate you!” and ran and buried her head in her father's robe, crying as if her heart would break.
When, lo! the frog changed at once into a handsome, brave youth — a very prince for beauty.
“There! there!” cried the guests, “it is as we said. It was an enchanted frog.”
“You speak wisely,” said the beautiful youth. “It was indeed an enchanted frog. Ten years ago, a wicked old witch who was jealous of my mother, laid this enchantment upon me — that I should be changed into a frog, and should remain a frog, until a princess should hate me, but still permit me to sit at the table and eat with her from her own plate.”
And the youth sighed, and looked sorrowfully at the sobbing little princess.
“I, too, am of royal family,” said he. “I am a prince. Good king, I love the little princess who has saved me from my enchantment.”
The little princess had already ceased crying. Now she looked up; and as she saw how handsome this prince was, and how kindly he looked at her, she said: “Good prince, I am sorry I ran away from you yesterday, and I am sorry I told you I hate you."
Then all the company laughed heartily. The prince rose and bowed low before the princess, and soon they were the best of friends possible.
On the next day a golden chariot, drawn by six white horses, with golden harnesses and silver plumes, drove up to the palace door.
Why had it come, do you wonder? I am sure you can guess. It had come to take back to his own kingdom the handsome young prince.
And did he go away alone? No; with him went the princess, now his promised bride. And such a welcome as they received when they reached the royal palace, from which, ten long years before, he had been so cruelly stolen.
“I am glad you have come!” said the prince's father. “I am growing too old to govern this large country. Now it shall be yours — all yours. And I shall be happy, indeed, to see you reigning in my place.”
The prince was a kind man and all his people loved him. And the princess ? How the people worshipped her! The beautiful, beautiful princess — so beautiful that the sun himself almost stood still to wonder at her as he passed each day over the royal palace.
— Adapted from “Grimm's Fairy Tales.” Chăr'i öt: a two wheeled car for war or state processions. Later a four wheeled carriage with one seat. En chant': to charm. Reign (rān): to rule as a king rules over his people.
“Never leave till to-morrow what you can do to-day.”
THE GRATEFUL FOXES.
A. B. MITFORD.
One spring day, two friends went out to a moor to gather fern. As they were straying about, they saw at the foot of a hill a fox that had brought its cub out to play; and while they looked on, struck by the strangeness of the sight, three children came up from a neighboring village with baskets in their hands, on the same errand as themselves.
When the children saw the foxes, they picked up a bamboo stick and approached the creatures. After the old foxes took to fight, they surrounded the young ones and beat them with the stick until they ran away as fast as their legs could carry them; but two of the boys caught the cub, and holding it by the back of the neck, went off in great glee.
The two friends were looking on all the time, and one of them, raising his voice, shouted out, “Halloo! you boys! what are you doing with that fox ?”
The eldest of the boys replied, “We're going to take him home and sell him to a young man in our village. He'll buy him, and then he'll boil him in a pot and eat him.”
“Well,” replied the man, after considering the matter carefully, “I suppose it's all the same to you to whom you sell him. You'd better let me have him.”
“Oh, but the young man promised us a good round
sum if we could find a fox, and he urged us to come out to the hills to catch one; and so we can't sell him to you at any price."
"Well, I suppose it cannot be helped, then; but how much would the young man give you for the cub ?”
“Oh, he'll give us three hundred cash, at least.”
“Then I'll give you half a bu,' and so you'll gain five hundred cash by selling him to me.”
“We'll sell him for that, sir. How shall we hand him to you?”
“Just tie him up here,” said the man. He made the cub fast with the string of a napkin and gave a half bu to the three boys, who ran away delighted.
The man's friend said to him, ““Well, certainly you have queer tastes. What on earth are you going to keep the fox for?” :: “How very unkind of you to speak of my tastes like that. If we had not interfered now, the cub would have lost its life. If we had not seen the affair there would have been no help for it. How could I stand by and see life taken? It was but a little I spent to save the cub, but had it cost a fortune I would not have begrudged it. I thought you were intimate enough with me to know my heart, but to-day you have accused me of being eccentric, and I see how mistaken I have been in you. However, our friendship shall cease from this day forth.”
When he sa d this, with much firmness, the other, retiring backward and bowing low with his hands on his knees, replied: