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Arrow of Heaven

The gods in the Hall of High Heaven gave me to the Young Prince, among with many other arrows feathered by heavenly birds. They sent him over the Floating Bridge, to bring peace to the land of the Reed Plains. When his feet touched the tops of the high hills, he...

Soothsayer Who Comes to Unai

I had come to the end of the long road of my life. My travels ended in Unai. I was so weary and footsore, I could not take another step. I knocked on the door of a house that stood close to the river where the wisteria grew on a trellis and reached down into the...

Rai-Taro, Son of Thunder

In the cool of the evening, my father and I walked upon the ramparts of the Castle of Cloud as we often did. My father was a great and mighty god of Thunder and all the Elements. From the ramparts we viewed the doings of men upon the Land of Reed Plains. North and...

The Book of Destiny

I am a lying open on a large table in a locked room. The table is laid with a gorgeous cloth, made with care by many hands. My pages contain the destinies of the King’s three daughters. They have just come into the room. The eldest princess steps forward and dares to...

Constellation of Stars

We were consulted when the boy was born, and then everybody knew that the prince's life would come to an end at the age of sixteen. On his sixteenth birthday, the lad disappeared while hunting in the forest. The men searched the woods, but soon gave up, believing that...

Destiny

Catherine had come of age. She was sitting in her room in her father's well-appointed house when I flew in with my wheel of fortune. "Catherine," I said. "Which would you rather have? A happy youth or a happy old age?" After some consideration she said, "Give me a...

Youngest Fairy

The fairies gave the princess all their best gifts: beauty, an angel's wit, grace, and talents for dancing, singing and playing instruments. Then the spiteful Old Fairy came in and gave her a curse. The princess would be pierced by a spindle and would die of the...

Dame Fortune

Fortunatus hardly remembers having fortune. His father squandered it before he was ten. At sixteen, he went off to find his own fortune. He found work as a page for the Earl of Flanders, and before you knew it, he had won the heart of the Earl's daughter. They were...

Princess Who Changes a Letter

In the heat of the afternoon, when everyone had gone to sleep, I left the governor's house and went walking in the garden. I rambled about in my favorite nooks and crannies, and when I turned a corner, I came upon a man sleeping under a tree. I nearly tripped over...

Naming Father

I was sitting on the front steps with my three daughters one night after the farm work had been done. They were grown up and it was time to be thinking about marriage. Jovially, I asked my eldest if she had decided what her husband's name will be. Names are important,...

Mermaid’s Prince

When I was sixteen, I hadn't seen anything of the world beyond the palace walls. Then one day, my mother and father called me to them, and my father told me a marvelous story about the time before I was born. He and his crew had been shipwrecked in a storm, and just...

Hazelnut Child

My mother is a worrier. She doesn't think that anything could possibly become of me. I am so little. But I know what I'm meant to be. And I know how to get around. Of course I don't use my own feet. I use the horse's feet. I get up under the saddle and prick the horse...

King Who Doesn’t Like the Prophecy

I like to travel around the kingdom in disguise so I can see what is really going on. I just learned that a village boy has been born with a caul. The villagers believe that such a child is special, and that anything he undertakes will turn out well. They also say...

King Who Orders the Spindles Burnt

I will not allow the thirteenth wise woman to change the fate of my child. Nothing will happen on her fifteenth birthday. She will not prick her finger on a spindle and fall asleep for a hundred years! I will not have any of the queen's women meddling in my daughter's...