An old man with a beard longer than himself made me. He put clay into a mold and made a doll as large as life. When he was finished, he bored a hole into my hollow breast and put a piece of bread inside, followed by a poisonous snake. Then he used a needle to take the blood of a girl named Elsa, and inserted her blood into my clay heart.
Then next thing I knew it was morning. I woke, dressed in Elsa’s clothes. I looked just like her and I could walk and run like a real girl. The old man and his people sent me to the village to live with Elsa’s stepmother. She was cruel, but she could beat me all she liked. I never felt any pain. If she crossed the line, though, if she tried to kill me, she would be struck by a poisonous snake.
Clay Doll in A Tale of the Tontlawald, Violet Fairy Book. Illustration by H.J. Ford.