Our daughter is a shut-in. It’s not her fault. We’ve shut her into a copper castle surrounded by many walls and towers. I don’t like the arrangement, but it has been prophesized that she will marry a common soldier, and the king won’t have it.

A few nights ago, our daughter reported having a dream about being carried off by a dog, of all things, to the house of a soldier. He kissed her, she said, which was alarming. The next night, I had her lady-in-waiting keep watch. A large dog with huge, saucer eyes came in from nowhere and carried her on his back to a soldier’s house. The waiting maid followed, and she had the presence of mind to draw a chalk cross on the soldier’s door so we could find it this morning.

We have gone looking but it would appear that we have been double-crossed. There are chalk crosses on all the doors in town!

The Double-Crossed Queen in The Tinder Box, Hans Christian Andersen