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The Story Finder

Voices in Fairy Tales

by Michelle Tocher

Story finder - Curly

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Fortune-Telling Witch

I will tell you who I am, but I won’t tell her. (You know, the pig’s wife.) I am the mother of dragons, and my youngest son was killed by that brat I turned into a pig. I put a spell on him that lasted three years, and now time is running out.

He’s managed to marry the daughter of a king, as it was writ in the Book of Destinies. Now she’s calling me to come and speak with her because, haha, I’ve gone walking past her house. Muttering about my fortune-telling skills.

Oh, she says, please, I beg you to tell me what terrible fate turned my husband into a pig! He’s a man by night and a pig by day!

She’s grown to love the brat.

Well, I’ve got some thread, I say, digging into my pocket. (I can twist her around my little finger, can’t I?)

It’s magic thread, I tell her. Wrap it around his left foot when he’s sleeping. Do it very quietly so he won’t wake, and whatever you do, don’t tell him about the thread or it will lose its healing power.

What will happen?

He’ll stay a man in the morning. He won’t turn back into a pig. That is what you want, is it not?

Oh yes, yes! And how can I repay you?

I’ll have no reward. Why, it breaks my heart to think of all that you have suffered, my dear girl.

I walk away. Ha. Now, instead of suffering for three more days, he’ll be bound to me for three more years!

Still. All that suffering won’t bring my son back. It’s a fortune I cannot change.

Fortune-Telling Witch, The Enchanted Pig, Red Fairy Book. Painting by Albert Anker.