My mother would take me with her to rob rich people on the road.

One night, we waited in the dark like we usually did, and then a coach came along. It lit up the forest like a torch. The robbers set upon it and killed everyone, except for a little girl.

My mother, the Robber Queen, drew out her long, glittering knife to kill her and cook her for dinner.

“No, don’t kill her!” I cried.

I wanted to play with her. I wanted to wear her fancy dress and her warm muff.

The Robber Girl in The Snow Queen, Hans Christian Andersen. Illustration by Margaret Tarrant.

robber girl