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The Story Finder

Voices in Fairy Tales

by Michelle Tocher

Story finder - Curly

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Fortune-Telling Witch

The pig’s wife is standing outside her house. Little does she know that my youngest son was killed by her husband, so I turned him into a pig. I put a spell on him that would last three years, and his term is nearly done.

She calls me to come and speak with her, thinking that I’m some kind of fortune-teller.

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!

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, dear. 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 power.

What will the thread do?

It will keep him from turning back into a pig. That’s 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.