My mother has turned me into a raven, and though I have told a young man how to set me free, he cannot resist the old woman’s offerings of food and drink. For three days, he has failed to stay awake. He has lost his chances now, and so I have left him with several gifts. I have given him food and wine that will never run out, a gold ring with my name engraved on it, and a letter that tells him that if he is still willing to set me free, he is to come to the golden castle of Stromberg.

The castle is not on any map in the world. It is situated on a glass mountain. The door is locked. I wait inside. I wait to see my ring again.

Raven Princess in The Raven, Grimm. Illustration by Walter Crane.

 ring