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Fir Tree

From the time I was a sapling, I surged with the desire to grow tall and have a brilliant career. I was never satisfied with my lot. I wanted to be timber for a great ship, or an ornamented Christmas tree. I wanted to have a higher purpose. "Rejoice in us!" sang the...

Dick Whittington’s Cat

My master, Mr. Whittington (I wouldn't think of calling him Dick) is badly abused by the cook. After living my whole life on the street, I have never met such an ill-natured hussy as that woman. When she's not basting or roasting, she's beating Mr. Whittington...

Rat’s Wife

Reach up to the stars, that's my motto! Why does my husband insist that our daughter marry a rat? Who cares that he has a long moustache and comes from an ancient line of noble rats? Why marry a rat in the first place? Why not rise up in the world, marry someone above...

Blood-Stained Climber

The other suitors tried to climb the glass mountain by using horses that were shod with sharp nails. They didn't make it. Even the golden knight didn't make it. When he hit bottom, I heard his bones rattle in his battered golden armor like dry peas in a pod. I went...

Simpleton with a Big Dream

I could never please my old mother. My brothers did. They were always buying her fine clothes that made her look really smart. Me, I just got in her way. I was too slow, too stupid. She had no patience for me. When the king decreed that he would marry his daughter to...