Uncle told us a strange story. He said that when they had gone out to the camp, his wife had turned into a doll. He took us to the site where they had camped, and, to our amazement, we saw a life-sized doll lying under the skins.
At first we couldn’t believe it. We thought that Uncle had lost his mind, and had taken to sleeping with a doll because he missed his wife so much. But she looked so life-like!
Then we saw two pairs of footprints in the snow that led from their hut to the place where they had camped.
I visit Uncle every day now, but nothing comforts him. Not even my little ones. I wrap my arms around him, and rock him like one of my own, but he has gone the way of his wife—stiff and wooden.
Niece of the Bereft Husband in The Dead Wife, Yellow Fairy Book. Picture by Robert Henri.