I used to have more money than I knew what to do with. But sorrow comes like a thief in the night, and all of a sudden, I lost everything. I couldn’t even call the mill my own. One morning when I went down to the pond, a nixy rose out of water. She called me by name and promised to return my fortune to me if I would give her the youngest thing in my house.
I thought she meant a kitten or a new puppy. It never occurred to me that my pregnant wife would have just given birth to our son.
The Poor Miller in The Nixy, Yellow Fairy Book. Illustration by H.J. Ford.