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City Swallow

When I flew to my nest in the forest, I met a country sparrow who had made her nest next to me, under the eaves of an abandoned hut. I had inherited the nest from my parents, and they had left it to me, so I hoped to make it my home. I asked the country sparrow how...

Mother of a Thief

My son has become a thief. Not an ordinary thief, mind you, but a master-thief. Oh, I wept when I first found out, but then he said that he never steals from the poor. He gives to the poor, and he only takes superfluous things from the rich. Nor will he steal anything...

Soldier Who Grows a Huge Turnip

The king thought I had a green thumb because I presented him with the largest turnip anyone had ever seen. It was as big as the wagon I put it in when I brought it to the castle. I told him that I’m really not favored by Lady Fortune in any way. I’m a poor soldier who...

Wild Man

I set the boy down in the forest and told him he’d never see his parents again. But he had set me free from the cage, so I meant him no harm. On the contrary, I promised him a good life if he did what he was told. I made him a bed of moss and he slept well. At dawn, I...

Goblin’s Mirror

I was made by a goblin who was at the height of his career when he created me. Everything that looks into me, however beautiful—appears ugly, defected and worthless. Pure genius! The demon was so amused by me that he started a goblin school. Goblins spirited me up...