The Story Finder

Voices in Fairy Tales

by Michelle Tocher

Story finder - Curly

Click the image above to fetch a new random story.

Merchant Father

I can tell you firsthand that the wealthiest merchant can lose his fortune overnight, and fall into the direst poverty!

My house burned to the ground quite suddenly. My six sons and six daughters fortunately survived the fire, but all the splendid furniture, the books, pictures, gold, silver, and precious goods were destroyed. Then I lost every ship I had out at sea. Every imaginable catastrophe happened: pirates, shipwrecks, fires. Then, to turn the knife, I heard that my trusted clerks overseas had cheated me!

All I had left was a little house in a desolate place a hundred leagues from town, and to this little cottage we had to retreat. My sons despaired at the idea of leading such a different life. My daughters, who had so many friends when we were rich, found themselves alone.

The Merchant Father in Beauty and the Beast, Blue Fairy Book. Illustration by H.J. Ford.

Merchant Father