The Story Finder

Voices in Fairy Tales

by Michelle Tocher

Story finder - Curly

Click the image above to fetch a new random story.

Queen Riding through a Winter Wonderland

On the happiest day of my life, I was riding through the falling snow on a sleigh that was lit by the setting sun. Rushing along through the fir trees in the steaming breath of the horses, I felt like a great white swan, feather-light and wing-borne. “Oh joy and wonder of life! Was anyone ever so happy as I?” I cried. My words rang full and warm as golden bells. I said them again, and they tinkled thin and cold in the air, like breaking icicles. Then my nose began to bleed.

I reined in my horses and they froze like statues carved in ebony. Two more drops of blood fell upon the snow, and my happiness dissolved into longing. Oh, how I wanted a daughter with hair as black as ebony, flesh as white as snow, and cheeks as red as blood.

“I would give my twelve sons to have a daughter like that!” I cried.

Then a heard a voice from the forest say, “Your word is your word.”

A tall, tall woman stood before me. She had ice-blue eyes and a mane of thick white hair. I wanted to take my words back, but it was too late. They had frozen in the air.

Queen Riding through a Winter Wonderland in The Wild Swans, in Scandinavian Legends and Folk-tales, retold by Gwyn Jones. Illustration by Joan Kiddell-Monroe.

Here is a picture of a queen who has the enchanting power of words. Enter the picture and look around. What is most compelling to you in this scene? Let that visible or invisible aspect of the scene describe itself to you in five lines starting with the words, “I am.” Then write freely about what you’ve found and how you relate to it.