The Story Finder

Voices in Fairy Tales

by Michelle Tocher

Story finder - Curly

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Hok Lee Who Has a Cure for Everything

Themes: Greed | Recovery | Theft

In the beginning, I was a thief. During the day I looked like every other hardworking soul. But at night, I’d go off with robbers to raid the homes of the rich. I had quite a treasure stowed away when I developed a strange malformation on my cheek.

I thought the swelling would go away, but it got worse and worse. It became unsightly and painful, but even more painful were the jeers of my neighbors. I was a proud man. Then I went to a doctor who gave me a cure. It cost me my entire fortune, and involved doing something that I found humiliating at first. But I learned.

Oh, I learned. And now I am cured. If you wish to be cured also, I will tell you what to do. If you can’t pay my price, then I won’t tell you the secret. It’s as simple as that. Does that sound cheeky? Well, I suppose it is! You see, I look like a hardworking doctor. But I’m a thief at heart.

Hok Lee Who Has a Cure for Everything, The Story of Hok Lee and the Dwarves, Green Fairy Book. Illustration by H.J. Ford.