Argggh! I want that child. Oh, I want her so bad. “Letiko, come down from the tree and see what beautiful shoes I’m wearing!”

Ah, she’s not even curious. “Come down, I’m in a hurry! I have to go and sweep my house.”

“Go and sweep it then.”

She makes me so mad! “I’ll cut down this tree and then I’ll eat you!”

“Go ahead,” she says.

I hew with all my might, but the tree won’t come down. Then she jumps onto the backs of a couple of hares and gets away.

I run after her through the fields. I ask the farmers, “Have you seen anyone pass this way?”

“We are planting beans,” they say.

“I’m not asking you that.”

“Are you deaf?” they shout. “It’s beans, beans, we’re planting beans!”

I may be a powerful siren, but when I go after something, nobody hears anything I have to say!

The Lamia in the Sunchild, Grey Fairy Book. Illustration by H.G. Ford.

lamia