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Judge Who Longed for Children

My wife and I were unable to have children, and it made life very difficult for us. One day I was standing in front of my house, lost in thought, when an old man passed by. "What is the matter, sir?" he asked. "You look troubled." I said, "Oh, leave me alone, my good...

Stan Who Gets His Wish

We were well off. We had the best milking cow in the village. We had trees as full of fruit as hives are full of bees. The corn in our fields grew high. Still, my wife was sad. She said there was no luck in our house, no luck at all, because we had no children. Until...

Childless Queen Who is Given an Egg

I hid my unhappiness from my husband, but when he was not with me, I often wept. I didn’t seem able to conceive. One day, when the king had gone to war, I couldn't bear being in the castle. The air was suffocating me. I went out, wandered in the garden, and came to a...

Frog Friend in the Underworld

The queen did not wish to stay in the underworld, and who could blame her? It was a dismal place inhabited mostly by dragons, reptiles, and ravens. A fairy in the shape of a lion kept her imprisoned there. She asked me how she might escape, and I didn't know, so I...

Queen Who Goes to Fairyland

I loved my husband but I couldn't conceive a child. We never talked about it, but when we watched other people play with their children, we couldn't hide our sadness. Then one day I went into the park near the castle, and sat alone by a waterfall. I didn't want my...

Queen Who Eats a Plant to Conceive

I cannot give my husband a child, and now he has gone away. If I have a child by the time he returns, he said, he will love me "beyond measure," but if I do not, he will part with me forever. I won't be having a child with him away, now, will I? Unless he wishes me to...

Brass Princess

A prophet told my father the king that I would have a son who would kill him. My father would not allow that prophecy to come true, and so he locked me in a deep brass prison, sunk into the earth. No one could see me there. Only the sun could see me, passing by the...

Apple Queen

I became pregnant, not by my husband, but by an apple that an old woman gave me. After eating it, I threw the rind out the window. It was eaten by a horse who gave birth to a foal. My son and his speaking horse have grown up together, and who knows? Together they...

Queen of the Elements

As mother of all the Elements, I have made my decisions. My eldest son, with his lively imagination, will be Lord of the Fire. My second son, who is stable but rather dull, will be King of the Earth. I will put my third son beneath the seas. He is monstrously wild and...

Fisherman’s Blessed Wife

An old woman came to me and said that I would have children if my husband could catch a little goldfish. Then she told me to cut it up into six pieces. One for me, and one for my husband. One for the dog, and one for the mare. One was to be buried to the right of the...

Kisa the Cat

I belong to the queen, and I sit proudly by her side when she drives out in her fine glass coach. She tells me that I am happier than she is, because I have a kitten and she has no one to love but me. I happen to know a fairy who dwells in the forest, and I'll go and...

Queen of an Ungrounded Child

How I wanted a child! But it would kill me to have one. I couldn't bear to see the child try to walk, stumble, and fall. I can't bear defeat! At last, after twelve years of marriage, I gave birth to a boy, but I could not live to see him suffer. I weakened, and, after...

Queen’s Seed

I grow into the finest apple in the whole world. I was so precious to the queen that when a magician stole me, the queen died. The magician gave me to a king, and he planted me in his orchard. Again, I grew into the finest apple in the whole world. But alas, he could...

Craving Mother

How I wanted to get pregnant! I didn't think I could, and then I conceived, thank God. Now, every day, I sit by the window and look out over the gardens at the back of the house. Our neighbor has a glorious garden, full of beautiful flowers and herbs. Nobody can get...

Red Tulip

I have had three awakenings. First, there was the crack of my husk when the kernel burst, deep in the earth. I grew and grew, stretching my neck out through the soil. Then there was the crack of the light, the first ray of the sun. Finally there was the third crack,...