Indonesian Classic Folklore: The Frog Prince

Long ago the Balinese neglected the ritual offerings to the gods. The gods became angry and punished them with a long drought. Life was difficult, the people suffered and they became selfish. Rangda, the ruler of evil and suffering, was ready to take over Bali, when a young prince, Putu Oka, was willing to sacrifice himself for the welfare of the people. Rangda turned Putu Oka into an ugly frog. He would not become a man again, unless he could find a girl who truly loved him. Day and night the Frog Prince sang until at last it rained. The people were saved from famine. The Frog Prince was happy. To find a way to break Rangda’s spell, he decided to travel. In north Bali, there was a prosperous kingdom, whose king had a very beautiful daughter, Princess Putu Ayu. The Queen died while giving birth to her, so the King spoiled her. One day when Putu Ayu took a walk in the palace garden, the wind blew her yellow silk shawl into the pond. No one could retrieve it. Putu Ayu was desperate and angry, because the shawl was a token of friendship from the Chinese delegate. The Frog Prince happened to be in the pond. He agreed to find the shawl for her and Putu Ayu promised to grant his every wish. He found the shawl and gave it back to her. He had only one wish, to become a friend of the princess. Alas, she was disgusted by his ugly appearance and denied his wish. When the King heard about this, he ordered Putu Ayu to keep her promise. From that day on, the frog was always at her side. One night she found the frog on her pillow. She was so angry, she kicked the frog out of the palace. The dry season came. Everything became arid. The threat of famine loomed over the kingdom. The King fell ill. No one could cure him. A wise old priest told Putu Ayu that this disaster could end, when frogs could be found again. Indeed, for some time not a single frog could be found. One night, while Putu Ayu was alone praying in the garden, the Frog Prince appeared. The princess was so happy, that she leapt to embrace the frog. She asked him to call back the other frogs. The frogs came and so did the rain. Princess Putu Ayu was now kind to the frog. One night when she saw the frog leave the room, she followed him. How surprised she was when she saw a handsome prince standing in the garden. Behind him lay the frog skin. Stealthily she took away the. skin and burned it. Prince Putu Oka and Princess Putu Ayu got married and lived happily ever after.

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