fbpx

Story Themes Results

Your Search Results

Golden Comb

I had been placed at the bottom of an ancient chest, a bride box, lovingly prepared by the mother of two girls, Aiko and her sister Aiyamé.  On a languid summer afternoon, the cover was opened and the ladies started to dig things up. Aiko said, “My mother, I pray you...

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...

Letter to the Dragon King

She wrote upon me in great sorrow. How I felt for the daughter of the Dragon King of Dungting Lake! Her father had married her to a faithless, philandering Dragon who had sent her out to pasture to look after his sheep. I am to be taken to her father, and my contents...

Crystal Ball

It is almost impossible to find me. I am buried in the yolk of an egg, which is buried in the womb of a bird, which is buried in the belly of a bull. Who will cut through the bull to reach me? I break all spells and delusions. Hold me in the face of the wicked...

Flute that Plays a Secret

I am made from an elder tree, a tree that grew out of a hole that contained a secret. The secret was spoken into the hole by a young man who could no longer keep it in his heart. The shepherds have been making flutes from my elder, and we all play the same tune. It...

Maiden in the Dark

The drummer has taken my linen shift! My sisters have flown from the lake, and I am stranded here. I have to follow him. But I’m naked! I’ll keep myself hidden, but what else can I do? Without my linen I have no wings to fly back to the castle. I follow him home and...

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...

Prince with Two Brides

I really did not know what to do. My father was deathly ill, and he made me to promise to marry a king's daughter I had not even met. I had already become engaged, but I gave my father my word. Needless to say, my fiancé was heartbroken. I thought I would never see...

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...

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...

Curious Wife of the Fisherman

My husband was supposed to keep the source of our wealth a secret, but I simply couldn't be kept in the dark. I had to know where it came from! He told me that he had caught a golden fish, and, in exchange for his liberty, the fish gave him a fine castle with an...

Swan Fairy

King Lino was late, and when he did arrive at the palace, he and his entire procession came in on foot. The king, who looked exactly like his image in the little portrait I'd seen, addressed me where I stood on the low balcony. His speech was shocking. He declared...

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."...

Maiden About to Be Eaten

I am chained to a rock in the middle of a torrent, waiting for a seven-headed serpent to get hungry. When he does, he'll eat me. Who could possibly save me? No one from my country. The serpent has already eaten all the men and most of the women in this land. My...

Confessional Iron Stove

I've heard more than one confession in my day. The king sends people to me, and I provide a safe place where they can unburden their hearts. He knew that the little goose-girl was keeping something under her hat, and he called her aside. He wanted her to tell him 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...

Captured Unicorn

I meant to skewer the little man to a tree but instead I skewered myself. When he cut off my horn, I lost my power, and now am I being led, by a cord, to the king. The Captured Unicorn in The Brave Little Tailor, Blue Fairy Book. Illustration by Kay Nielsen.

Nightingale

No, please, your Majesty, do not tie your golden slipper around my neck to commend me for my performance. The tears that I see in your eyes when I am singing are the only reward I would ever wish to receive! Do you not understand the weight of your praise around my...

Lost Hunting King

I had forgotten everything in the chase. By the time I came to my senses I realized that I was alone in the woods. I'd lost the whole hunting party. I had no food, no supplies, and no knowledge of how to fend for myself. Evening approached and I looked around but...

Emperor’s Mirror

The emperor is looking at himself and saying, "Oh, how beautifully the clothes fit! What material! What color! What a gorgeous suit!" I take it he means his birthday suit, because he isn't wearing a stitch! He takes one last look at me as if he wants me to speak. I am...

Invisible Prince

When I was born and my future was foretold, my parents were so upset by my life of perilous adventures that a Fairy comforted them by giving me a little pebble. Whenever I put the pebble in my mouth, I would become invisible. I met many ordeals and escaped the worst...

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...

Maiden Hiding in a Pot

The ogre has smelled me hiding in the pot that stands before his castle. He's telling me to come out. He will do me no harm. How can that be? He's a man-eating ogre! I stay silent. Then he says, "Come out, I tell you. Your life is quite safe. If you are an old man,...

Well-Spoken Ogre

I came into my castle and right away, I could smell human flesh. What had ill fate brought me? I looked through all the rooms and found nobody. I called out, "Do not be afraid, I will do you no harm." No answer. Silence. "Come out, I tell you," I said. "Your life is...

Princess in the Marble Tower

My father doesn't give a whit for his country. He spends all his time on riddles! He has shut me into a marble tower with seventy windows, seventy feet from the ground. Now he has sent his heralds out to proclaim that whoever can climb the walls to my windows will...

Mother Who Makes a Changeling Laugh

The baby in my cradle is not mine! He has a large head and huge, staring eyes. He won't move. He just eats and drinks. My neighbor says, "Make him laugh, and then you'll see who he is. Do something that will amuse him. For example, boil water in a couple of eggshells....

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...

Miller’s Daughter Betrothed to a Robber

The day before the wedding, my father held a feast. At the table, everyone was asked to tell a story. I just listened, but then my bridegroom said to me, "Come, my darling, do you know nothing? Relate something to us." I ignored his disrespect, rose to my feet, and...

Lamp

Woe to me if I am found in my secret niche in the underworld! If my oil is poured out, I will be inhabited by a genie who will be forced to grant every worldly whim of the one who possesses the lamp! Needless to say, the evil magicians are looking for me. They have...

Baba Yaga Giving the Burning Skull

The girl stands there watching me, dumb as a post. I command her. "Speak to me!" "I'd like to ask you something," she says. "Fine. Go ahead, but not every question has a good answer. If you know too much you will soon grow old." She asks about my horsemen. I tell her...

Flower Queen’s Daughter

The queen of the Isles, who is the most powerful of all queens, envied my beauty. She could not bear to have me around, and so my mother, queen of the Flowery Isles, shut me inside our castle. She wanted to protect me from the dark magic of the queen of the Isles, and...

Burning Skull

Shadows live here. They swallow the light of candles, torches, and ordinary flames. Vasilisa holds me high over all the shadows in the room. I stare them down. My light burns them. They scuttle like roaches, but I see where they hide. All night I see them. I see them...

Buried Brother

My brother hit me from behind, killed me, and buried me under the bridge. He took the spear that was my protection and married the woman who was my whole world. Years have passed. Yet nothing is hidden from God. I've given a shepherd one of my bones, and he is making...

Rose-Tree

I grew on the grave of the prince's father, and I bloomed once every five years. Everyone looked forward to my blooming, for, though I bore but a single rose, its scent was so sweet that it would make you forget all your troubles. One day, the prince dug me up. I had...

Son of the Brass Princess

In the evening, I walk alone by the sea. When I come to the brass chest, I sit and remember how I came to this country. When I was an infant, the brass chest carried my mother and me over the sea. We came ashore at this very place. I will never forget the song she...

True Princess

I have not publicly declared myself to be a true princess. I simply feel everything, and believe me, that is not easy. I know that the prince has become dangerously dispirited. He has been looking for me, but I have avoided public places. I have not gone anywhere I...

Mother of Snow-White and Rose-Red

An angel guards my children. That's why I'm not afraid to let them play and sleep in the woods. Truly, I tell you, they will not be harmed. For instance, one morning, after they had slept through the night in the forest, they woke and saw a figure in a shining white...

Pea Under Mattresses

Many people come to the Museum to see me in my glass case. I am not just any pea. I am the Pea. I was buried under twenty mattresses (and twenty eiderdowns), and I could still be felt! I am the thought that does not go away. The truth that disturbs sleep. The grit in...