The Well of the World's End

(complete tale, 12 min)

A tale of initiation

Strangely (and very ignorantly) when I began telling folk tales to adults I rarely thought of including fairy tales. This was one of the first to open my eyes to their incredible power.

I found this British version of "The Frog Prince" in English Fairy Tales (ed. Steel, 1918) and in Scottish Folk and Fairy Tales (ed. Gordon Jarvie, Penguin Books).
Incidentally, since I am often asked, the word "hinny" the frog uses to address the girl is simply a northern dialect form of "honey".

Folklorists classify tales about frog suitors as Aarne-Thompson type 440. For more examples, go to Frog Kings on D.L. Ashliman's comprehensive folk tale website.

The footnotes Jack Zipes gives to the tale in The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm: The Complete First Edition make it clear that the Grimms knew this variant of the German tale.

This video recording was made at the International Theater Frankfurt om 8th May 2015.

I find it interesting to compare different versions of a tale I frequently tell. Here is a recording of me performing the tale in 1998 at the Brüder-Grimm-Märchenfestspiele, Hanau, Germany, included on my first CD The Well of the World's End and other Tales.
The audio file is available separately and can be downloaded here.
The entire CD is also available as a download card.

Do you want to tell this tale?
Go here to read my position on permission to tell

Go here to receive an e-mail notification when new tales are added

Go here for tales to watch

Go here for a list of all tales included on this site

You are a teacher? Read this: Telling stories in the classroom: basing language teaching on storytelling

Want to record your own performances? Here are some suggestions