I was once a snow-white page, perfect and pristine. I wanted to be the bearer of good news and inspired words.

One day, the king’s mother picked me up wrote upon my face: My darling son, I am writing to send you the happy news that your wife has given birth to a son.

I was folded up, sealed, and put into the pocket of a messenger. On his way to the king, the messenger slept in the forest. And while he slept, the Devil came along. He opened me up, and rewrote the words to read: My darling son, I am writing to give you the sad news that your wife has given birth to a monster.

The king read the letter, and, in a rather shaky hand, he replied: My dear mother, take care of the child until I arrive.

Once again, I was folded, sealed and put in the messenger’s pocket. On the way, he slept, and the Devil took me again. This time, he completely changed my words to read: My dear mother, put the queen and her child to death. Preserve the queen’s tongue and eyes as proof that you have obeyed.

Mortals should not rely so much on words. The Devil loves to change them.

The Letter that Got Changed in The Girl with No Hands, Grimms

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