The Story Finder

Voices in Fairy Tales

by Michelle Tocher

Story finder - Curly

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Prince Who Sees Blood

I found my partner at the festival, and I would dance with no other. But she kept escaping the party. Now at least, I have her slipper. It is small, dainty and golden. It can only belong to her, and I have am going to try it on every young woman in the country until I find her.

I arrive at the house of a man I recognize. I spoke with him at the dance. As soon as he opens the door, his eldest daughter steps forward and grabs the slipper. Insisting that it belongs to her, she takes it into another room. Her mother follows. A little while later, the girl comes out, slightly wincing and hobbling towards me with a stiff smile on her face. “See,” says her mother, “The shoe fits. You have found your bride.”

I don’t recognize the girl, but I take her hand, and I lift her up on my horse. As we ride out through the gate, we pass a grave and a hazel tree. Two pigeons are sitting on the tree, and I can hear them speaking.

“Turn and peep, turn and peep, there’s blood upon the shoe…”

I look down and see blood trickling from the girl’s foot. I have the horrific thought that she’s cut off her big toe to make the shoe fit. I turn the horse around and return to the house.

The Prince Who Sees Blood in Cinderella, Grimms. Illustration by John Batten.

Prince Who Sees Blood