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Princess Who Marries a Pig

I knew from the moment I heard him speak that he was not an ordinary pig. But he was still a pig! And he had come to the castle to marry me. I had no escape. The street was full of pigs. All the pigs in the world had come to the castle that day. What could I do? It...

Child Who Came From An Egg

On my tenth birthday, my nurse showed me a little basket that was hidden between the sheets of my cradle. It had egg shells in it. She said that my mother wanted me to know a secret. I didn’t remember my mother. She died when I was only two. The old nurse told me a...

Jose, the Returning Son

I left home many years ago, and my younger brother stayed with my father. He died at a ripe old age and left great riches behind. My brother spent our father's wealth freely and never imagined that I would return. One day, I walked into the hall of my father's house...

King Who Wants to Glimpse Paradise

I always found it difficult to believe what I could not see. One day, in the prime of my youth, I was out hunting when I came upon a fakeer reading the Koran. He was sitting on a little bedstead in front of a cave in a lonely place on the mountain. He had an old,...

Queen Who Gives Birth to a Donkey

I wanted a child, and when the child didn’t come, I lamented day and night. “I am like a barren field!” I cried. At last, my wish was granted, but what did I give birth to? Not a human child, but a donkey! Then I wept in earnest. I told my husband to throw it into the...

Yard Dog

You would think that being a snow man, he would have been interested in the frost that flowered on the kitchen window. But no, no, no! The frost only irritated him because he was trying to see through the window to the hot wood stove. I can understand how a yard-dog...

Well-Bred Prince

My father isn't ready to give the throne to any of his three sons. Instead he sends us away on quests for things that are impossible to find. I don't protest. It's a waste of breath. And besides, I'm far too well-bred. The funny thing is, I enjoyed the quests. My...

Unlooked-for Prince

There was no family in the whole kingdom happier than ours, or so it seemed. Then one day I met a little old man as he was hunting in a lonely part of the woods. “How are you, my unlooked-for Prince?” he said. “You have kept us waiting a good long time!” “And who are...

Old Goat Woman

I'm an old widow living in a small village and I haven't any children or relations of any kind. I have my goats, that's all, and I make my living selling their milk. I am strong. I must be strong because if I am too ill to look after my goats, I will have no means at...

Chess Player

While we were playing chess at Court, we heard the queen talking to herself from behind a wall. We got up and put our ears to a crack in the wood. Then we heard her say, quite plainly: "When I yawn a little, then I am a nice little maiden; when I yawn half-way, then I...