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Warrior Princess Who Becomes a Man

I dressed like a man, and I went to serve the old Emperor who had been my father's enemy. The Emperor sent me on one mission after another to prove his love for the beautiful Iliane. Finally, Iliane gave the Emperor one more test: to bring back the holy water of...

Girl Who Shades Her Beauty

My father lost his wealth, and he was so disappointed in himself that he became ill and died. My mother and I spent months grieving, unable to take pleasure in anything. Then one morning my mother looked at me in a strange way, as if she had seen me for the first...

Catskin

My father had a great deal of land, and he had wanted a son to take possession of it. Instead, my mother gave him a girl. Me. My mother would say, "Oh, look, she's so bonny, bonny as can be!" But he wouldn't even look at me. He said, "Let me never see her face." When...

Queen Who Plays the Lute

"Why not enjoy the happiness and stability we have?” I asked my husband. “Can you not find a way to live in peace?" He could not. He was restless. He wanted to try his strength in battle against some enemy and win honor and glory. He went out, called his army...

False Bride Maleen

It was arranged that I should marry the king's son, and he was truly handsome. But I was no match for him. I felt so ugly and wretched, I hid in my room. Then I had an idea. I would get Maleen, the scullery maid, to dress up in my wedding gown. She could go to the...

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...

Master-Thief

One day, I drove my horses to the house of a peasant. When the old man opened the door, he asked me how he could help me. I stretched out my hand, and I said, "I want nothing more than to enjoy a good old fashioned country dish. Cook me some potatoes the way you have...

Noble Ass

I knew I wasn’t like anyone else. I was very awkward. But I had never thought about my difference until I became a young lord. Then one day I went walking and happened to see my image in the mirror of a clear pond. I was a donkey! From the tip of my ears to the brush...

Maiden Betrothed to Bearskin

My old father came home beaming with happiness. He had paid the landlord. How? A man had helped him, and now, he said, we can help the man. My two sisters and I waited for my father to lead the man into the house, and when we saw him (and smelled him) we recoiled! He...

Princess Who Dresses as a Man

Would you believe it? He promised his dying father that he would marry somebody else, and he's gone and done just that! His father controlled him right to the very end. I will not have our bond severed. My father is going to help me find eleven girls in the kingdom...

Star Dress

I don't think that the princess has a clue what to wear, or who she is, or who she wants to be! Yet I am her brightest dress. I shine even more brightly than her golden dress, or her silver dress. Why does she keep us hidden in a nutshell? Why does she go around...

Allerleirauh

I slept in the hollow of an old tree in the wild forest. I was warm because I was covered from head to foot in every living animal's fur. I never wanted to come out of the safety of those furs. I never wanted to shine again. I would happily live the rest of my days,...

Man Made of Gold

My twin brother and I are both made of gold. When we decided to travel the world, and we arrived in town, we were so jeered by the villagers that my brother turned back home. I went forth to a great forest, and the people who lived near it said, "Don't go in there...

Don Giovanni

Ah, I could write volumes about what it was like to go for three years without washing, combing my hair, or shaving my beard. I became a pariah! Little did anyone know that in my purse I possessed all the gold I desired. It was a good experience to be rich and poor at...

Lion Suitor

I got into the secret chamber of the princess by hiding in a lion made out of gold. The king brought the lion to his daughter, and when she and her friends were sleeping, I whispered to her, "Oh, lovely princess, if you only knew what I have gone through to find you."...

Donkey

The king has put me in a wonderful stall and people are always coming along to admire it. When they see me, they wonder why he keeps such an ordinary-looking donkey in such a fine place. My long, drooping ears are my only unique feature. Do you want to know why the...

Happy Princess

I knew that those two brothers of my beloved were lying to the king. They were not our deliverers. What had they done with my true friend? In his sorrow, the golden horse would not eat. The golden bird would not sing, and I sat in the castle garden and wept. Then one...

Shabby Inn

I stand on the roadside, facing a much more well-frequented inn than myself. The windows are brightly lit, and music and merriment pour from inside. The noise gets louder as the night goes on, and the people who stay there live in riot and revel. I do not deny that I...

King Thrushbeard

In all my life, I have never met such a deliciously haughty princess. She is beautiful beyond measure, and so, of course, no suitor will ever measure up. We were lined up before her, in a row, while she, like a general, inspected the ranks. This was one too fat. "The...

Hungry Wolf

I have a charming voice. It causes women to become weak-kneed around me. Old and young, it works with them all. I especially like them young, though, like that little Red-Cap. What a morsel! You have to approach gently. Don't show your appetite. "Good day, little...

Governess of the Monkey Prince

Prince Alphege has disappeared, but I have the strongest feeling that he is still with us. The other day, a green monkey escaped from the palace and sprang through our window. He wouldn't let anyone else near him but my daughter and me. When I looked into his green...

Jousting Queen

I am quite prepared to rule my own country, but my uncle insists that the people do not like being ruled by a woman, and that I must find a husband to help me manage my affairs. So be it. I have not made a choice yet. Now something interesting has happened. A young...

Wild Ogress

What does Prince Ring mean, bringing me all this fancy stuff? Does he truly expect me to make my own wedding dress? I don't want to sew! I want meat, raw meat! I'm starving to death! Where is that good-for-nothing brother of mine? He's supposed to be here by now, and...

Kind Ogre

I have a huge head and a wrinkled brow. My eyebrows meet, my eyes squint. I have a flat, broad nose and a great gash of a mouth from which hang two huge tusks. My skin is hairy, my arms are enormous, my legs are sharp as sword blades, and my feet are as flat as...

Bear Princess

The last time we danced together, I was wearing a dress woven out of star-light and studded with gems. We had such a dance! But I wouldn't say a word to him. At the end of the evening, he slipped a ring on my finger, and then he tried to follow my carriage home. He...

Crab Princess

It was the strangest wedding ceremony you could possibly imagine. Picture me, a princess, making my vows to a Crab who sat on a golden cushion wearing a golden robe! On our wedding night, he told me that he is a Man by night, a Crab by day, and an Eagle whenever he...

Fountain of Lions

I stand in the middle of the court of a great castle. The entrance is guarded by four fierce lions. Two are asleep, and two are awake. People believe that the water that flows from me is a sovereign medicine, healing all fevers, even the most dangerous, in less than...

Tom’s Eldest Brother

Tom is so clever! He got up in the middle of the night, took the golden crowns from the heads of the Ogre's seven sleeping daughters, and put 'em on our heads. Then he put our old bonnets on the heads of the Ogre's daughters. Uh-oh. The Ogre's comin' up the stairs. He...