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Wreath of the White Bear Princess

First, the princess found me in a dream. She picked me up and examined me. I am made of gold in a pattern that is exquisitely unique to the crown that the princess is meant to wear. She felt my weight, my leaves so finely wrought. When she woke, she wanted to wear me...

Mirror of the Spellbound Princess

I sit on the dresser in the dark room of a spellbound princess. When she picks me up, I reflect her beauty as it is in truth. She weeps when she sees her face. She is reminded of everything she knows to be true. Yet to others she appears as a decrepit old woman....

Princess Who Is Exiled Because of Salt

My father wanted me to flatter him by telling him how much I loved him. I said, "I look upon you as salt in my food." That didn't go over too well! He got really angry and banished me. Since I had no skills, I dressed myself in rags and went looking for menial work. I...

Enchanted Knife

If you hold me up in a meadow so that the sun shines on my blade, the whole meadow will be lit up by my rays, and the horses in the meadow will approach of their own free will. I can cut through brass. I am no ordinary knife, not when I am in the hands of the one who...

Lion Mother

A man came along through the woods, and we sprang out of the bushes. I roared loudly and bounded toward him. I meant to eat him but he and stooped and spread a cloth on the ground. The cloth was woven by the little people, and it is revered by us all. My mate and I...

White Sword of Light

The giants are always fighting over me, but once they have me in hand, they just put me away. I have grown somewhat lackluster. I am currently in the custody of the Seven Big Women of Dhiurradh. A handsome youth has come into the castle. I can hear him saying that he...

Princess Who Appears as a Hag

When the young man found me, I had been shut away for a long, long time. How did he find me? Not by any ordinary means. The Castle of the Golden Sun is not on any map. Yet, he arrived, and when he came in, he was shocked to see me. My skin was grey and wrinkled, my...

Stupid Hans Who Finds the Griffin

All my life I've been told I'm stupid. Why? Because I'm honest and I trust people. My brothers don't believe you can trust anyone, but that has never been my experience. Everywhere I go, I tell the truth, and everywhere I go, I meet somebody who is kind, or requires...

Old Man by the Roadside

I have a bit of magic, oh, yes, I do, and it is quite special. Nothing like you'd see in a magic show. No, I don't like to make a spectacle. I just stand by the road, and I ask questions, like I did the other day, when the peasant's three sons walked past me, one...

Princess Who Chooses Her Husband

I insisted that I choose my own husband from the men in the country. I would not allow my father to choose for me, much to his annoyance. The young men arrived—tall, short, dark, fair, rich, and poor. They stood in rows in the courtyard while I passed before them all,...

Glass Slipper

I have been taken into the custody of a young prince who has put me on the table beside his bed. He stares at me, day and night, trying to figure out how my mistress could have danced in glass, and whether or not she was real. Yet I am the evidence that she was real,...

Pea Under Mattresses

Many people come to the Museum to see me in my glass case. I am not just any pea. I am the Pea. I was buried under twenty mattresses (and twenty eiderdowns), and I could still be felt! I am the thought that does not go away. The truth that disturbs sleep. The grit in...

True Princess

I have not publicly declared myself to be a true princess. I simply feel everything, and believe me, that is not easy. I know that the prince has become dangerously dispirited. He has been looking for me, but I have avoided public places. I have not gone anywhere I...

Rose-Tree

I grew on the grave of the prince's father, and I bloomed once every five years. Everyone looked forward to my blooming, for, though I bore but a single rose, its scent was so sweet that it would make you forget all your troubles. One day, the prince dug me up. I had...

Mirror of the Evil Queen

I scan the whole country for the queen's rivals, but no one has surpassed her beauty. Not yet, but the time is coming when none of her magic potions will suffice to keep her on top. Her daughter Snow-White will upstage her. She will ask me who is the fairest of them...

Little Hazel Tree

When I was just a twig, I brushed against a man's hat, and his hat fell off. He got off his horse, came to the tree, broke me, and put me in his pocket. He carried me to his home and gave me to his daughter, who planted me by her mother's grave. She visited me three...

Failed Prince on a White Horse

I was the golden boy. I was strong, handsome, and clever. Sun-Hero, they called me. Then one night, both my parents had the same dream. A girl dressed in red came to them and said, "If you truly wish your son to be a Sun-Hero, in deed as well as in name, then send him...

Honest King

The rightful heir to my father's dominion is my stepbrother Alphege, but he has disappeared and is now thought to be dead. I wear the crown now, but it appears that Alphege's family is plotting against me. My mother thinks I should have them put to death, but it's...

Father Who Stands Up for His Child

"The emperor is wearing no clothes!" my child cried. It was too late to muzzle her, and besides, she was right. "Listen to the innocent child!" I shouted. The crowd fell silent long enough to hear her say it again. "He hasn't got anything on!" Soon we were all...

Princess Miranda

I was taught to be true-hearted and to speak the truth. Why is it that my father is so offended by me now? He came home after years of fighting his neighbors and seemed to be looking for another fight. I couldn't please him. I couldn't give him the answers he wanted....