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The Story Finder

Voices in Fairy Tales

by Michelle Tocher

Story finder - Curly

Click the image above to fetch a new random story.

Catskin

My father had a great deal of land, and he had wanted a son to take possession of it. Instead, my mother gave him me, and only me. My mother would say, “Oh, look, she’s so bonny, bonny as can be!” But he wouldn’t even look at me. He said, “Let me never see her face.”

When I was fifteen he looked at me for the first time, and then he only did so because he wanted to marry me off. “Let her go to the first that comes for her,” he said. The first man who came along was nasty, rough, and old. I went to the hen-wife for advice, and she told me to agree on the condition that my father make me coats that were impossible to make. I asked for a coat of silver cloth, then one of beaten gold, and then one made of all the feathers of all the birds in the air. My father had every one of them made. I still couldn’t marry that nasty old man, so I asked for a catskin coat. Then I wrapped myself in it, and made my way into the woods.

Catskin, Catskin, More English Fairy Tales by Joseph Jacobs. Illustration by Arthur Rackham.