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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...

Abused Girl Who Enters the Enchanted Wood

I tried to be good. I was quiet and only wanted to live in peace, but my stepmother would never allow peace. She beat and cuffed to me from morning till night, and, since she had the approval of my father, there was no remedy. I suffered her abuse for two years, and...

Andras Baine

When I came to the village in the mountains, it was midwinter in Lapland, yet the villagers had heard of my strength. The town bailiff soon made it known that he wanted to compete with me. He fancied himself the strongest, fastest man in the land, and he...

Ugly Duckling

I had gone through many trials through the winter. I had suffered loneliness and the frigid cold, but nothing and no one was crueler to me than my own kind. It was very difficult for me to forget the old mother duck who said, “Have you ever seen anything quite...

Iron John with a Golden Ball

One day when I was eight years old, I was playing in the courtyard with my golden ball when it rolled away from me and into the cage of the wild man. I asked him to give it back, but he wouldn’t, not until I had unlocked his prison door. I refused at first, but when...