Blue Flower

The Frog Princess is one of many versions of The Frog Prince, best known from the collection of Brothers Grimm (they wrote several variation for different editions of their fairy tales too). The Frog Princess is a Russian fairy tale with the same theme (animal bride/groom in need for transformation to be suitable for marriage) but with numerous specific elements, which are typical for Russian folklore. All in all, we can easily relate it with at least two other popular fairy tales - The Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella, but we'll not go too much into details.


Instead of that let's focus on the story, supported with exceptional illustrations by Ivan Bilibin in his best edition.


Once upon a time, there was a king who had three sons. He ordered them to find brides, one for each. They will find the right one with a help of an arrow - each of them should shoot one in a random direction and get a wife where it falls down.


First two sons find their arrows at homes of noble and wealthy families. The youngest, Ivan, finds his arrow in a meadow near a frog. He is disappointed, but soon realizes it's not an ordinary frog because it can talk.


Then the king gives new tasks to his sons. Their brides should bake him bread and make shirts. The frog did best on both occasions.


Now the king wants to meet the brides in person. He throws a party. Frog enters the castle as a beautiful princess and impresses the audience with magic charms. Both other brides are envious yet it's Ivan who makes a cardinal mistake - he destroys the frog skin of his princess.


When she, Vasilisa, finds out what he did, she tells him about Koschei who put a spell on her. She should live as a frog only for a while more but now she has to leave the prince and move to Koschei's kingdom. Ivan tries to find her and spends three years in search. He meets an old man who helps him with a golden ball which shows Ivan the way.


Then he meets several animals and all promised him their help if he doesn't kill them.


At last, he meets Baba Yaga who sees his courage and tells him how he can destroy Koschei. Koschei is immortal thanks to his shapeshifting ability.


Armed with Baba Yaga's instructions and supported with his new animal helpers Ivan destroys Koschei and wins the princess back.


This time in a human form and they stay together for good.


This is how the story of The Frog Princess (sometimes Frog Tsarevna) ends.


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