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 breast and put a piece of bread inside, followed by a poisonous snake. Then he took the blood of a girl named Elsa and inserted it into my clay heart.
Then next thing I knew it was morning. I woke and dressed in Elsa’s clothes. I looked just like her! 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 violent, but I didn’t mind. She could beat me all she liked. I felt no 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.