The Story Finder

Voices in Fairy Tales

by Michelle Tocher

Story finder - Curly

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Themes: Invisibility

After a desperate search for work, my maid and I were given positions as scullery maids. We worked in the kitchen of a castle where a wedding was taking place.

The bride ate her meals in her room, and I brought them to her, so I knew what she looked like. The poor girl was hideous, and she had a nasty temper to boot.

A short while before the wedding, the bride told me that she wanted me to take her place in the wedding procession, to put on her gown and veil. She said she had sprained her foot, but I knew why she was doing it. The groom had not yet seen her and she didn’t want to be rejected. I said, “I wish no honor that is not suitable for me.” She offered me gold, and when I could not be bribed, she threatened to have my head cut off.

In the end, I had no choice. When I entered the royal hall, I saw that the man she was marrying was the king’s son whom I had once loved. My father didn’t want me to marry him, and when I refused my father’s choice, he walled me into a tower for seven years.

Did he forget me? Why didn’t he come to rescue me? Did he try? I had so many unanswered questions.

I am the false bride now. I doubt that he’ll remember me.

Maid Maleen in Maid Maleen, Grimms. Illustration by Rie Cramer.

Maid Maleen