Once, there was a frog living with his large family of frogs nearby a small pond. Every day all the frogs would jump out of the water, only to jump right back in to the water again. All frogs, except one. He would simply sit by the pond and look as all the rest of the frogs with a sad expression upon his green face. When his father and brothers invited him to the play of jumping in and out of the pond he would croak very quietly that he did not feel like it. His father and brothers did not pester him about it more pressingly, though they kept asking him every morning if he wanted to come with them, and every morning the frog told them no.
None in his family knew his secret. Every night he would sneak out of his little frog bed, creep along the side bank of the pond to the clearing on the other side. Here he would practice. For this particular frog could not jump. He dared not tell this secret to anyone, for fear of being laughed at. So, in order to prevent this, he sneaked out each night to practice his feeble jump. But no matter how much he stretched and stretched before attempting to jump across the clearing, his legs would not bend correctly and lift him of the ground as all the other frogs did. Despite many years of training he had still not mastered the art of jumping, and you would think it would come natural to him, being a frog and all.
So, again that night he would return to bed with a sad heart. Sure enough, his father and brother asked him to jump with them the following day too. But instead of sitting by the pond and looking enviously as the other frogs, he crept away deeper into the forest. Here he found a small boulder, on to which he climbed, for of course he could not jump on to it. And here he began to cry. He wept and wept till he felt empty of tears. By then, a young girl had sneaked up behind the crying frog and she felt sorry for the tiny creature.
“Why do you cry little fellow?” She asked and the sound of her voice made the frog start and almost fall of the boulder. He clambered back on to the boulder and told the girl why he was crying.
“Well, maybe I can help you.” Said the girl and she scooped up the tiny frog. With the frog in one hand she went to another pond deep in the forest. She put the frog in the water and told him to use his legs as if he were on land and tried to jump. This made the frog scoot through the water, back and forth, faster and faster. The girl then picked the frog out of the water and told him to do the same on land as he had done in water.
But sadly it did not prove to work. The frog began to weep again. The girl picked him up and bade him not to cry. But the frog could not stop. He told the young girl how he was the only frog by the pond that could not jump. The girl told the frog not to fret; she would return the next day and try to help him again. That night, for the first time in a long time, the frog did not sneak out to practice his jump. The girl kept her promise and returned the next day with two small balls made of rubber. She tied these to the frog’s legs and asked him to try again. The frog had never been happier than he was now. He bounced and bounced higher and higher in the air. As high as the girl was tall. He thanked the girl a plenty and jumped back to his family by the pond. There he showed off his new ability to jump as high as he might. But sadly the strings tying the balls to his feet came apart and the frog fell to the ground with a loud plop. Just as he had feared, all the other frogs laughed at him. With tears streaming he ran to the other pond. The girl found him there. In an attempt to comfort the little frog she bent down and kissed his head. By a stroke of magic or pure luck, the frog turned into a young prince.
“That is why you could not jump. You are a prince!” Exclaimed the girl in a voice of surprise. The young prince thanked the girl heartedly and kissed both her cheeks, which in turn flushed scarlet red. The minute the frog had turned prince, the memory of his frog family had left him and he remembered his real family, who must have missed him in the years he had been a frog. He asked the girl for one more favor, to help him find his family and she obliged him in much eagerness.
In return, the prince took the friendly girl to be his bride in a matter of few years. For who could object to a girl willing to help a frog who could not jump?