I was playing with my two-year-old son on the boat deck while my husband and the crew napped below. We were having a lovely afternoon when I noticed something black coming toward us from the sea. As it approached, I saw that the figure was a fearfully ugly witch rowing a boat made of stone.
I was so terrified I couldn’t move. The witch came aboard, seized my child, and laid him on the deck. Then she stripped off my clothes and put them on herself. With every article she donned, her body changed until it looked exactly like mine. She ordered me to get into the stone boat, and she commanded the boat to take me swiftly to her brother in the underworld.
I sat, stunned and motionless, as the boat shot away from the ship.
The Overtaken Queen in The Witch in the Stone Boat, Yellow Fairy Book. Illustration by H.J. Ford.