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Woodcutter in an Enchanted Forest

When the King of Sweden gave orders to cut down the haunted wood, no man had courage enough to carry them out. But I wasn't afraid. I took my axe and went into the Tontlawald. I struck a tree, and my blow was followed by a stream of blood and shrieks as if a human...

High and Mighty Princess

I HATE that he's so handsome. I HATE that he makes me weak in the knees. Most of all I HATE that I agreed to give him three chances to hide from me. I only give my suitors one chance, and when I catch them, I cut off their heads and stick them on posts. Ninety-nine...

High and Mighty Tower

I am a landmark in this country. People can see me from miles away. A high and mighty princess inhabits my high apartments, and she can see the whole kingdom through my twelve windows. Through the first window she can see more clearly than any human being, in every...

Apprentice to Fault-Finding Shoemaker

I didn't last a month when I apprenticed with Master Pfriem. My advice is: stay away from that shoemaker! He's that short, grey-haired fellow you see moving through the crowd with his arms wheeling round as if he were rowing a boat. You know the man. The one with the...

Spirit in the Bottle

"I am mighty Mercurius! Whoever releases me, him I must strangle!" Idiot! Why did I say that to the fellow? I do not seem to be able to curb my own bravado. Then, to make it worse, I had to prove myself! "Ha! You don't believe that a genius like me can turn myself...

Peasant Who Was Tricked by the Tanuki

I caught the Tanuki and hung the beast from the rafters. Then I told my wife that when I got home from work, we would kill him and cook him for dinner. I was feeling pretty good about myself when I returned to the forest. When I got home, I was ravenous, and my wife...

Prince Not So Darling

I have all the power in the world, but I still can't get my way!! To hell with this "ring of truth" that pricks my finger whenever I do a bad thing. I want to marry that shepherdess, with or without her consent! And if she continues to refuse me, I'll cut off her head...

Brave Little Tailor

How did I become successful? Well, let me tell you. One day, while working, I killed seven flies in one blow. It was the biggest accomplishment of my life! I stitched the words, Seven At a Blow on my girdle and set off to let the world know. Since then, I've slain two...

Mountain Giant

We live on this mountain, see. It's our mountain. Our granite, our precious stones, and nobody is entitled to come here, least of all this little man who is sleeping on the rocks. I push him with my foot. "What sort of earthworm is this?" My brother says, "Crush him...

Befuddled Prince

I was hunting in the woods when I saw a bear hiding in the shrubs. I called my dogs to attack it and they ran into the bush, yipping and yelping. Then I heard a voice cry, "Call off your dogs or they will kill me! What harm have I ever done to you?" I was so startled...

King Who Tries to Change His Daughter’s Fate

I used to enjoy going off on lonely adventures. I would disguise myself as a peddler, traveling around with my wares. By this means, I would find out what the common people were saying about me, and how my governors and judges were fulfilling their duties. My other...

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...

Cinderella’s Eldest Step-sister

We decided to shove her out right away. We weren't going to be pushed around by our new stepsister. I began the conversation after our first meal in the parlor. Mother had gone out. "Is this stupid goose going to sit in the parlor with us?" I asked, turning to my...

Red, the Jealous Counselor

So this fellow comes into the castle with his massive, slobbering dog. They pass the guards and march straight into the hall to speak to the king. The fellow demands that the king give him a room for the winter, where he and his dog can stay. For some unknown reason,...

Dismissive Eldest Brother

Now we know who has been eating our apples! A golden bird! My youngest brother tried to shoot it with a bow and arrow, but the bird got away. All he brought back was a feather. My father wants the whole bird, so I said I would get it for him. At the entrance to the...

Lady Cockchafer

I brushed my pretty feelers and looked at the creature my brother had caught. Yuk. He wanted to marry her, the idiot! How could he possibly be attracted to her? She had no feelers at all! And only two legs! She looked like a human—the worst! Horrible! All the lady...

Ogre

I had great power, more power than any mere king. I owned all the land around my castle for as far as the eye could see. One day I had a visit from a strange-looking Cat who wore a large pair of boots and had a bag strapped around his neck. He was very well-spoken so...

Galifron the Giant

I am as tall as a tower and I eat people the way a monkey eats chestnuts. I talk so loud that anyone who listens becomes deaf. What GREATER prince could there be? If that golden-haired princess does not marry me, I'll lay waste to her country, carry her off, and do...