The Turnip Princess and Other Newly Discovered Fairy Tales
Franz Xaver von Schönwerth
ATU 402 The Animal Bride
Yep. This was a concise little story.
A father will give his house to whichever of his sons spins the finest thread. The third foolish son “took the flax and ran with the wind, back and forth and everywhere imaginable, through forests and swamps, until at last he found himself sinking into the mud” (101).
A toad gets him out and spins his flax on the condition he tell everyone he’s going to get married. Her thread is the best and the third son inherits the house, after which the toad, now a beautiful woman, arrives to get married. As she tells him “‘I was put under a spell by an evil witch and the curse could only be lifted when a young man needed my help'” (101). That’s a unique condition, but why does she have to marry him? Why would she want to?