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The Leap Frog
start of story
A Flea, a Grasshopper, and a Leap-frog once wanted to see which could
jump highest; and they invited the whole world, and everybody else
besides who chose to come to see the festival. Three famous jumpers were they, as everyone would say, when they all met together in the room.
"I will give my daughter to him who jumps highest," exclaimed the King;
"for it is not so amusing where there is no prize to jump for."
The Flea was the first to step forward. He had exquisite manners, and
bowed to the company on all sides; for he had noble blood, and was,
moreover, accustomed to the society of man alone; and that makes a great difference.
Then came the Grasshopper. He was considerably heavier, but he was
well-mannered, and wore a green uniform, which he had by right of birth; he said, moreover, that he belonged to a very ancient Egyptian family,and that in the house where he then was, he was thought much of. The fact was, he had been just brought out of the fields, and put in a
pasteboard house, three stories high, all made of court-cards, with the
colored side inwards; and doors and windows cut out of the body of
the Queen of Hearts. "I sing so well," said he, "that sixteen native
grasshoppers who have chirped from infancy, and yet got no house built
of cards to live in, grew thinner than they were before for sheer
vexation when they heard me."
It was thus that the Flea and the Grasshopper gave an account of
themselves, and thought they were quite good enough to marry a Princess.